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FACTS. 
1852. 



Just Published, price (>.s\ 

With a beautifully engraved Portrait of His Royal Highness Prince Alber 
President of the Royal Commission, 

EXTRA VOLUME 



The Year- Book of Facts, 

ESPECIALLY DEVOTED TO 

The Great Exhibition of 1851. 

Its Origin and Progress ; Constructive Details of the Building ; the most 
remarkable Articles exhibited ; Official Award of the Prizes, &o. 

By John Timbs, 

EDITOR OF THE " ARCANA OF SCIENCE AND ART." 

As only a limited number have been printed beyond the annual circulation of 
" The Year-Book of Facts," early application is recommended. 



Publishing in Monthly Parts, price Is. 

Each containing Four Plates, including from Thirty to Forty Orif/inrt/ 
Designs, 

Suggestions in Design 

FOR THE USE OF 

Artists and Art -Workmen, 



CONTAINING 



Hints for Workers in Metal, Wood, Ivory, Glass, and Leather ; the Potter 
Weaver, Printer in Colours, Engraver, Decorator, &c. &c. 



By Luke Limner. 



In this Work it is intended to embrace all styles and materials, supplying the 
student with suggestions for construction and elaboration, rather than for servile 
imitation, giving details instead of complete examples. When completed, the Plates 
ivill be arranged somewhat in order for ease of reference, and contain about Four 
Hundred bints in design. 

DAVID BOGUE, 86 FLEET STREET. 



Now Publishing, price Sixpence each, 

LECTURES 

ON THE 

Results of the Great Exhibition, 

DELIVERED BEFORE THE SOCIETY OF ARTS, 
t the suggestion of H.R.H. Prince Albert, President of the Society. 

jl. Rev. Dr. Whewell, Master of Trinity. 

The general bearing of the Exhibition on the Progress of Art 
and Science. 

2, Sir H. De la Beche. 

Mining, Quarrying, and Metallurgical Processes and Products. 

Professor Owen. 

Animal Raw Products used in the Arts and Manufactures. 

4. Jacob Bell, Esq. M.P. 

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Processes and Products. 

5. Dr. Lyon Play fair. 

On the Chemical Principles involved in the Manufactures 
shown at the Exhibition, as a proof of the necessity of an 
Industrial Education. 

6. Professor Lindley. 

Substances used as Food. 

7. Professor Solly. 

On the Vegetable Substances used in the Arts and Manufac- 
tures, in relation to Commerce generally. 

8. Professor Willis. 

Machines and Tools for working in Metal, Wood, and other 
Materials. 

9. James Glaisher, Esq. 

Philosophical Instruments and Processes. 

0. Henry Hensman, Esq. 

Civil Engineering and Machinery generally. 

1. Professor J. Forbes Royle. 

The Manufactures of India. 

|. Captain Washington, R.N. 

Shipping, particularly Life-Boats. 

DAVID BOGUE, 86 FLEET STREET. 



&ctuarto\ 



Canada 



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Science 

V THE 

YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS 

IN 

Science an* &rt: 

EXHIBITING 

THE MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES & IMPROVEMENTS 
OF THE PAST YEAR; 

IN MECHANICS AND THE USEFUL ARTS; NATURAL PHILOSOPHY; 

ELECTRICITY; CHEMISTRY; ZOOLOGY AND BOTANY; GEOLOGY 

AND GEOGRAPHY; METEOROLOGY AND ASTRONOMY. 

By JOHN TIMES, 

EDITOR OF " THE ARCANA OF SCIENCE AND ART." 



" Facts brotight to light by practice are to general progress that which expe- 
riments are to experimental philosophy." 

Sir H. T. Delabeche, C.B., F.R.S., F.G.S., &c. 




The New British Museum — Principal Front. — See page 



LONDON: 
DAVID BOGUE, FLEET STEEET. 

MDCCCLII. 



LONDOIT : 

SAVILL AND EDWABDS, PRINTERS, CHANDOS-STREET, 

COVENT-GARDEN. 



PROFESSOR OWEN, F.R.S, &c. 

Professor Owen is a native of the town of Lancaster. He 
matriculated in the University of Edinburgh in 1824 : became a 
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of London ; in 1826 : and was 
appointed Hunterian Professor and Conservator of the Museum of 
the College in 1835, having for some years previously been engaged 
in preparing the "Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the 
Specimens of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy," 4to, 5 vols. ; 
the Catalogue of the ' Natural History ;' and that of the ' Fossil 
Orgauic Remains/ preserved in the Museum. The other principal 
works by Professor Owen, are: — "Memoir on the Pearly Nautilus 
{Nautilus Pomp Hi us)," 4to, 1832: " Memoir on a Gigantic Extinct 
Sloth (mylodon robustus)," 4to, 1842: "Odontography," 2 vols., 
1840: "History of British Fossil Mammals and Birds," 8vo, 1 vol. 
1846 : " History of British Fossil Reptiles," 4 to, 5 parts, 1849-51 : 
"Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy of the Invertebrate Animals," 
8vo, 1 vol. 1843 : " Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy of the 
Vertebrate Animals," 8vo, 1 vol. 1846 : " On the Archetype and 
Homologies of the Vertebrate Skeleton," 8vo, 1 vol. 1848: "On 
the Nature of Limbs," 8 vo. 1vol. 1849: "On Parthenogenesis, or 
the Successive Production of Procreative Individuals, from a Single 
Ovum," 8vo, 1 vol. 1849. 

Besides these works, Professor Owen has communicated numerous 
Papers, which have been published in the Transactions of the Royal, 
Linnaean, Geological, Zoological, Cambridge Philosophical, Medico- 
chirurgical, and Microscopical Societies : and he has contributed 
some elaborate Reports, published in the Transactions of the British 
Association : of the Microscopical Society, he was one of the 
Founders and first President: and he is a Fellow or Associate of 
most of the Learned Societies or Scientific Academies, at home and 
abroad. 

Professor Owen has been ready to place his scientific knowledge 
at the service of the Government, whenever it has been called for, 
in aid of any inquiry involving considerations of a physiological 
nature. He was an active member of the Commission of Enquiry 
into the Health of Towns, of the Commission of Enquiry into 
the Health of the Metropolis, and of the Commission of Enquiry 
into Smithfield Market ; and it is to his persevering endeavours to 
bring the evils of the latter before the Government and the Public, 
by investigations promoted in the Commissions, of which he was a 
member, and by his evidence, before the Parliamentary Commit- 
tees, that the public are mainly indebted for the contemplated 
abolition of that disgraceful nuisance. 

We find the name of Professor Owen, as assisting in the official 
reports of the first and several subsequent meetings of the Board of 
Health, the organization of which has been the chief result of the 
Sanitary Commissions. 

Professor Owen took an active part, from almost the commence- 
B2 



4 PROFESSOR OWEN, F.R.S. 

ment, in the development of the idea of the Great Exhibition of the 
"Works of Industry of All Nations, so happily conceived, and saga- 
ciously promoted by H. 11. H. Prince Albert ; Mr. Owen having served 
as Vice-chairman of a Local Committee, as a Member of a Committee 
of Classification, and as Chairman of Jury IV. Animal and Vege- 
table Substances used in Manufactures. The last publication by the 
Professor is, the " Lecture on the Raw Materials from the Animal 
Kingdom, displayed in the Great Exhibition of the Works of 
Industry of All Nations,"' delivered at the Royal Society of Arts, 
December 10, 1851. 

The peaceful career of the indefatigable cultivator of Natural 
Knowledge, has been a continued series of labours for the promotion 
of scientific truth, and its practical application to the well-being of 
mankind ; and the titles of his publications form the best illustra- 
tions of his life. 

We are happy, in conclusion, to be able to state that Her Majesty 
has appropriately recognised these services, by granting to Pro- 
fessor Owen, as a residence, one of the Houses at Kew, which 
became vacant, by the death of the late King of Hanover, — a Royal 
reward, analogous to that which the Danish Philosopher Oersted, 
received from his Sovereign. Of the foreign estimation of our dis- 
tinguished countryman we have pleasing evidence, in his selection, 
by the King of Prussia, as ' Chevalier of the Order of Merit,' on the 
vacancy in the Foreign Members of that Order, occasioned by the 
recent death of Oersted. 



CONTENTS. 

PAGES 

MECHANICAL and USEFUL ARTS 5— 85 

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY 86—129 

ELECTRICAL SCIENCE 130— 148* 

CHEMICAL SCIENCE 149—192 

NATURAL HISTORY : 

Zoology 193—221 

Botany 222—231 

GEOLOGY 232—271 

ASTRONOMICAL and METEOROLOGICAL PHE- 
NOMENA : 

"With a Meteorological Summary for the Year 272 — 282 

OBITUARY LIST 

of Persons eminent in Science or Art, 1851 283 

* The quotations at page 148 are from a Lecture by Alfred Smee, F.K.S. 



the 

YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 



iWecftanfcal an* SSseful am. 



NEW SYSTEM OF PROPULSION. 

Mr. Alexander Gordon has proposed a new mode for Propelling 
Ships, which consists of " the simple application of the hot products 
of combustion rushing at high velocity from close furnaces fixed in 
the ship, against and below the water, instead of employing steam- 
engines acting upon the water by means of paddle-wheels or screws ; 
the blow being given to the water by the hot-air rushing out against 
the water, at the rate of 1330 feet per second, instead of the blow 
given, as in the case of a steam-engine, by wooden or iron paddles, 
at the rate of only 20 feet per second." 

" Attempts have also been made to propel vessels by the rushing 
out of common air from a state of compression : these have failed 
because it has first to be compressed by a steam-engine, and then 
compressed air requires a longer time to regain its thermal equilibrium 
by taking back heat from the water. 

" My invention (continues Mr. Gordon) bears resemblance to the 
action of a rocket in water. It is a mild rocket without the explosive 
mixture. It is the rushing out of air charged with heat, which 
expands on the instant of liberation. An experiment has been made 
as follows : Into a boat, 26 feet long and 4f feet broad, I fitted a 
close furnace or retort, and a common small forge bellows. The 
close furnace being open at top and at bottom, an intense fire was 
got up ; the bonnets at top and at bottom were then luted and fitted 
tight. Each stroke of the lower portion of the bellows passed air 
through the close fire, and the hot products of combustion rushed 
out against the water by the pipe. The discharge-pipe was 3 inches 
in diameter, and was immersed 12 inches. Each stroke of the 
portable forge bellows sent cold air into the close furnace. The 
appropriation of oxygen to support combustion was immediate ; and 
the heating of all the aeriform body, which passed off under water 
was equally so. The products of combustion, almost altogether 
aeriform, but also occasionally mixed with smoke, dust, and ashes, 
rushed out under and against the water at a very high velocity (at a 
temperature of 800° or 900°), and impelled the boat in her course ; 
the fire and one man blowing did the work of two men rowing/' 

Mr. Gordon maintains that the heat of 500° lost at the chimney- 
top, after passing through the open furnace of a steam-boat, can be 
saved, and the chimney dispensed with, if the furnaces were made 
close, and a blower applied to force the air through the fire. He 



6 TEAR BOOK OF FACTS. 

proposes, therefore, to construct a close furnace for 60-horse-power, 
as an auxiliary or full power ; the fire inside being supported by the 
atmospheric air, forced in at either or both of the pipes, so as to 
be blown either through the fire or over it, as more or less power 
(i. e. intensity of fire) is required. The furnaces are opened once in 
two hours, and supplied with additional fuel by the upper close door, 
or bonnet ; the blast of air being for the occasion turned off from the 
furnace which is to be opened. Boilers surround the close furnaces. 
The water taking up the transmitted heat affords steam to drive the 
simplest form of steam-engine which works the air-pump. The fires 
in the close furnaces are thus kept in activity, and under complete 
control, and the products of combustion are allowed to rush out at a 
high velocity under the bilges of the ship, at a temperature of from 
500° to 1000°; the discharge-pipe when inside, or in contact with 
the ship, being surrounded by a non-conducting medium. When 
the products of combustion have attained the temperature of about 
500°, their tendency is to rush out even against a pressure of 15 lbs 
per square inch ; and when lilerated, they do rush out at the rate of 
1332 feet per second, each of such hot-blasts through 1 foot area of 
discharge-pipe under water, giving an impulsive action equal to 
4173 lbs. These discharged products cannot condense as steam would, 
and they cannot escape through the water without giving the full 
extent of their impact, and thus propelling the vessel. Mr. Gordon 
does not yet venture to determine whether a high velocity of dis- 
charge from a small area, or a lower velocity of discharge from a 
larger area, will be found the best in practice. 

For further details, with illustrations, see Mr. Gordon's prospectus. 



EXTINCTION OF THE FIRE-MINE IN CLACKMANNANSHIRE. 

The fire that had been burning for 25 years in the waste of the 
9-feet seam of the Sauchie coal-mine, has been extinguished by the 
joint operations of Mr. GoldsworthyGurney, the inventor of the steam- 
jet, and Mr. Mather, Hon. Sec. of the South Shields Mining Com- 
mittee.* These gentlemen having previously examined the condition 
of the fire-mine, commenced operations on March 11. By March 20, 
Mr. Gurney had prepared the boiler, decomposing furnace, jet, and 
apparatus. Upon that day, Mr. Mather descended the pit with three 
miners, to clear a passage to the waste. They removed two iron 
doors which had been placed as barriers before the fire — opened out 
the drift — and broke down a portion of the fire-wall, standing at the 
cross-cut drift, in connexion with the burning waste — Mr. Gurney 
supplying them with fresh air through the jet. 

When the wall was penetrated, an internal action was distinctly 
heard going on — a sort of cracking or fistling as of fire, or premoni- 
tory symptoms of falling roof. 

Some anxiety was now felt by the men. The temperature was 
about 100°, and the gas showed itself in the passage. The object 

* By means similar to those employed by Mr. Gurney, in extinguishing the 
Astley Aline, in 1849.— See Year-book of Facts, 1850, page 02. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 7 

being, however, accomplished, the men were withdrawn ; the pit 
was completely covered with iron plates, and puddled with clay, 
except the passage of the cylinder for the jet ; and all being ready, 
at 4 o'clock, p.m., the jet was set to work, and the great experiment 
began. The whole apparatus worked most effectively. 

The jet was continued in operation till 12 o'clock next day; and 
at that time, the crop-drift (No. 3 in the plan), though 243 feet dis- 
tant, and at an elevation of 60 feet, was pouring from its mouth the 
extinction-gases of the processes. 

The jet, four-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, blew through a 
12-inch cylinder at a pressure generally of less than five atmospheres. 
By previous experiment, and by comparison with coke burnt in the 
decomposing furnace, not less than 8,200,000 cubic feet of azote, 
carbonic acid, and other gases of extinction, had been driven into 
the waste in those 20 hours. 

The whole area of the waste (26 acres) was about 10,335,600 
cubic feet; yet half the coal had been left unworked in pillars, 
several of the spaces between them stowed with small coals, and 
much closed by falls and " sitts " of surface, especially in the track 
of the fire. It was found, then, that an abundant supply of the 
gases of extinction was at command; and that in 20 hours the waste 
had not only been surcharged, but a large surplus portion had 
escaped at the high-pressure through the fissures in the overlying 
strata, towards the crop, and through the fire- wall. 

At slight intervals, the processes were continued. Upon the 25th 
of March, the experimenters were enabled, after a longer interval 
than usual, to get into the crop-drift No. 3, which had a restricted 
communication with the waste, about 48 yards, where they were 
stopped by the gases. After blowing the jet for six hours, these 
gases poured out at the mouth of the drift, extinguishing their lights 
in the open air. 

The works were next visited by Mr. Dunn, the Government 
Inspector of Mines, who showed a deep interest in the processes. 

The jet had been suspended during the night; and in the morning 
the crop-drift was clear 17 yards down : in 4§ hours' jetting, the 
gases extinguished lights at its mouth. 

These gases, so destructive to combustion and not less fatal to life, 
there was a certainty would penetrate to the dip of the fire-wall, over 
the falls of roof, amongst the timbering, through the wall itself, to 
the workings in the mines of the Alloa Coal Company, and lay them 
off, or produce injurious if not fatal effects amongst the miners; 
especially as they possessed no process for ventilation, neither fur- 
nace, fire-lamp, steam-jet, nor waterfall, in any of their pits, to draw 
it off — their works already being charged to a certain extent, it was 
understood, with black damp. To secure against the inevitable con- 
sequences of gas escaping in that direction, a fire-lamp was placed in 
a pit (Todd's pit, No. 12 in the plan), to produce ventilation along 
the dipside of the wall, the whole being 3030 feet long, first closing 
up the two downcasts in the east mine. This and the fire-wall pas- 



H YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

sage were examined daily; and nine days after, upon the 27th of 
March, perceptible quantities of gas were found pouring along the 
passage to the upcast, drawn off by the fire-lamp, which affected the 
light in the hand and produced nausea. 

Upon the night of the 29th of March, from an accident not very 
explicable, the cradling of Todd's pit was fired. It had been examined 
the same night a few hours previously, and left safe and in good con- 
dition. The pit was entered, however, the same day ; and it was 
found that the fire threatened to extend to an adjoining coal pillar to 
the dip — which had been on fire twenty years before, at the construc- 
tion of the fire-wall; but, by means of water, and the courage and 
energy of the miners, this fire to the dip was completely subdued in 
seventeen days. 

Meanwhile, the operations at the fire-drift were incessant, On 
March 31, the crop-drift could be safely penetrated in the morning 
30 yards ; but after A\ hours' jetting, the gases as usual poured 
out at its mouth, and extinguished lights at the surface. 

Preparations were now made for cooling the waste; if possible, more 
difficult, and requiring more time, than the process of extinction. 
To cool down the metals, coal, and debris of a waste that had been 
burning for a quarter of a century, and surcharged by the late opera- 
tions with gases heated upward of 400°, would evidently be a work 
of much labour and time — without some powerful means could be 
fallen upon. Mr. Gurney, in his Report, proposed low-pressure 
steam; and Mr. Edward Cayley, suggested that spray might be driven 
into the waste at the same time. 

A construction was accordingly made thus : — A pipe an inch in 
diameter, rising about 3 inches into a cylindrical tin vessel, holding 
about three gallons. Into this pipe the jet was inserted, with 4 pieces 
of zinc soldered to the exterior of the jet, running 1^ inch up at equal 
distances, to divide the stream of water into four equal currents before 
falling into the action of the jet. A shower of comminuted water 
was obtained so fine that it appeared like a driving shower or Scotch 
mist in the atmosphere, producing when the sun was out beautiful 
rainbows. 

The cooling process went on till the 19th of April, when it was 
deemed that the waste would be sufficiently cooled down to admit of 
an attempt to examine its condition. 

The jet was now reversed, and turned the downcast pit (No. 19) to 
an upcast, drawing from the waste. Upon the same day, Mr. Wil- 
liamson, the able mine-engineer of Lord Mansfield, visited the works. 
He suggested a pit, for the examination of the waste, to be sunk to 
the rise about S. by E. of the boiler pit, above 100 yards. A similar 
suggestion had also been previously made by Mr. Dunn, the Govern- 
ment Inspector. 

An attempt was first made at the boiler pit, whose temperature 
was now about 90°; but a fall to a great extent having taken place 
at the fire-wall, for the moment the passage in this direction was 
frustrated. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 9 

A pit was now commenced at the rise, about S. ^ W. from the 
boiler pit ; and as the fire was supposed to exist on both sides of the 
line of operations between this new pit and boiler pit, it was intended 
to drift through this region in the waste, and carry other drifts from 
it at right angles to the most suspected places. 

Mr. Gurney now left Mr. Mather to finish the examination of the 
waste, satisfied of the results. On passing the four-inch coal in the 
new pit, about nine feet from the roof of the waste, it was found 
unburnt, and the temperature down to 86°. "When the waste was 
penetrated, the steam and gases came off in such abundance as to ex- 
tinguish the lights in the pit ; and the sides of the pit, and ropes, 
chains, and buckets dripped as if wet with water. The men were 
obliged to be drawn till operations were made to secure them against 
these discharges. The boiler was again set to work, and the jet 
turned on, at a pressure of 251bs. to the inch ; and though the new 
pit was 80 yards to the rise, and the heated gases and steam had to 
be drawn contrary to their specific gravities, yet in half an hour the 
pit was sufficiently clear to enable it to be entered, and work to pro- 
ceed. When the jet was suspended (which was done several times 
to test its effects), the pit filled in about three minutes with gas and 
steam from the waste, and extinguished the lights; while in less 
than a minute being set on, it was regularly cleared, and enabled 
the lights to burn — a sufficient proof of the free communication 
through the waste. 

This new pit, named "Mather's Pit," enabled parties at length 
to penetrate the waste ; where, though they found the steam coming 
off from the shale above at about 130°, yet in the waste itselfj on the 
roof of a coal pillar somewhat scorched by fire, they found the tem- 
perature at 98°, and on the pavement or thill at 89°. 

So satisfactory did the appearances now become, that the agent of 
Lord Mansfield deemed it unnecessary to proceed further into the 
waste, though offers were made to drift it from end to end. 

Two bore-holes were, in addition, however, sunk over the very 
heads of the most suspected parts of the waste — the west one within 
a few feet of where, four months before, the surface had sunk into it, 
leaving a chasm 21 feet in diameter and 50 feet deep, whence were 
discharged smoke and the gases of the waste. 

On May the 8th, the waste was reached through both the bores — 
the one at the east giving a temperature of about 110°, and being a 
gentle upcast — the other to the west giving a temperature of 84°, and 
being a gentle downcast. The east had its four-inch coal untouched 
and its waste fallen : the west had its coal burnt, and the shale 
calcined. 

The waste had been now penetrated at five different points, and no 
evidence of existing fire could be detected. All the products that 
presented themselves were those of the extinction processes, and not 
of combustion, or of coal distillation. Therefore, this magnificent ex- 
periment, a concmest of science over physical difficulties of the most 
gigantic nature, may be said to be complete. 



10 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

"We have abridged the preceding details, from the Report in the 
Gateshead Observer. ■ 

THE FLAX MANUFACTURE. 

In the Year-booh of Facts, 1851, p. 93, will be found notices of the 
new processes and improvements in this important manufacture. 
The following methods have been patented in the past year. In the 
Chemical Record* it is well observed: — Upwards of one half of the 
original flax fibre is at present reduced to tow by the old process, 
and a considerable loss is also sustained in the steeping or rotting 
process, employed to fit the fibre for the " scutching or heckling" 
machines. These losses are one great cause why linen goods cost so 
much more than cotton goods, although the raw material of flax is 
of less value than cotton; and when we mention that in 1850 we 
imported no less than 1,821,578 cwt. of flax, hemp, &c, in addition 
to that grown in Ireland and olher parts of the British empire, the 
value of any new chemical or mechanical improvements will be fully 
appreciated. M. Claussen has patented a process for what he terms 
cotton huj flax, or converting it into a material having similar properties 
with cotton, and capable of being spun by cotton-spinning machinery. 
M. Claussen's process consists in steeping the fibre first in a dilute 
acid solution, and subsequently in a solution of carbonate of soda ; 
by the action of the acid on the soda, carbonic acid gas is liberated, 
the elastic force of which produces a splitting of the fibre of the 
flax, converting it into a material which could scarcely be dis- 
tinguished from the finest American cotton. 

The bleaching agent employed by M. Claussen is the hypochloride 
of magnesia. He states that out of the 96,098 tons of flax, the 
produce obtainable from 100,000 acres of land, only 38,605 could be 
obtained by the use of the most improved system of steeping at 
present employed ; whereas by the cottonizing process 47,410 tons 
could be obtained, a difference of 8805 tons, which, at £50 (in round 
figures) per ton, would effect a saving of £440,250. f 

Mr. Bower, chemist, of Hunslet, York, has patented certain 
improvements in preparing, rating (rotting), and fermenting flax, 
linen, grasses, and other fibrous substances, so as to diminish the 
time for effecting these operations. 

The patentee's improved process of rating is performed as follows : 
— The flax is steeped in either hot or cold water ; if the latter, for 
six days, but if hot water be used a much shorter time is required ; 
it is then passed between rollers, in order to remove the glutinous 
matter of the plant. The steeping process is then repeated, and the 
flax again pressed as before, and afterwards scutched in the ordinary 
way. The fibre thus obtained will be found to be much cleaner, and 
more free from gluten, than that which has been subjected to the 
ordinary steeping process. 

* Commenced during the past year ; and a welcome addition to our scientific 
periodical literature . 

t The specification, at length, of M. Claussen's patent, is given in the 
Mechanics* Magazine, No. 1437; with observations by the Editor. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 11 

For the finer qualities of flax, and for the purpose also of obtaining 
a still better colour, the fibre is submitted to the action of a solution 
of caustic ammonia, or the neutral salt of one of the alkalies, the 
chloride of sodium or the sulphate of soda being preferred. 

The quantity of ammonia, or of the salt employed, is to be regu- 
lated by the temperature and purity of the water used in the opera- 
tion. If, for instance, rain-water be used, one pound of caustic am- 
monia, or one pound of any of the neutral salts of the alkalies, is to 
be added to 150 gallons of water, and the solution kept at a tempe- 
rature of from 90° to 100° Fahr. In the course of about thirty hours 
the operation will be completed. If cold water be used, the quan- 
tity of alkaline salt or of ammonia must be increased, and the opera- 
tion continued for four days. The fibre thus treated, is next sub- 
mitted to the pressing process before mentioned, for the removal of 
any dissolved glutinous matters. Another improvement consists in 
operating on the flax, &c, in an exhausted vessel. The flax, 
having been pulled and dried, and the seeds removed in the usual 
way, is placed in a cylinder or other shaped air-tight vessel, and the 
air is exhausted therefrom by means of an air-pump or other suitable 
contrivance ; after which a solution of either caustic ammonia, chlo- 
ride of sodium, sulphate of soda, or any other neutral alkaline salt 
is introduced, in the proportion of one pound of caustic ammonia or 
neutral salt to every 150 gallons of water used, and the mixture 
kept at a temperature of from 90° to 120° Fahr. 

The fibre readily absorbs the alkaline fluid, and in this saturated 
state it is allowed to remain from two to four hours, when the fluid 
is drawn off, and the vessel again exhausted of air. By the use of 
this exhaustion process, the air contained in the cellular tissues of the 
plant is withdrawn, and the fibre more readily acted upon by the 
chemical agent. 

MM. Six, of Wazemme-le-Lille, have patented certain improve- 
ments in bleaching flax and hemp, divided as follows : first, the 
employment of a continuous series of operations, whereby flax and 
hemp, in the state of straw, is subjected, whilst, in the vat, to all 
the chemical operations which are usually employed in bleaching 
those fibrous substances, without changing their position until the 
bleaching operation has been effected. Such is the leading feature of 
the inventors' specification ; but subsidiarily to it is a new form of 
hurdle, on which the flax is exposed to the action of bleaching 
agents. 

SMOKE CONDUCTION AND VENTILATION. 

Mr. J. H. Stevens has communicated to the Institution of British 
Architects " An Account of a System of Smoke Conduction and Ven- 
tilation adopted at Osmaston Manor, near Derby." The house in 
question has cost £50,000 or £60,000, and is entirely without chim- 
neys ; the smoke being conducted downward, by flues in the walls, to 
a larger horizontal flue, which conveys it to a shaft 150 feet high in 
the kitchen-garden, at a considerable distance from the mansion. At 



12 HUB-BOOK OF FACTS. 

the bottom of this shaft, a furnace creates a draught, which effectually 
removes the whole of the smoke. A tower is provided at one end of 
the building for a constant supply of fresh air, which is warmed by a 
hot-water apparatus, and thence conducted to every room of the 
house. The cost of these contrivances has amounted to about 
£5000 ; but Mr. Stevens stated that they had been carried out on a 
more complete and expensive sealj than was necessary, and that the 
application of the same system to the Bath gaol had added only five 
per cent, to the cost of the building. 



INGENIOUS APPLICATION OF GUTTA PERCH A. 

A process for causing Gutta Percha to adhere firmly to the metallic 
structure necessary for the support of artificial teeth, and for preserving 
it from the friction of the tongue, has been invented by Mr. Truman, 
of 23, Old Burlington-street, and is a matter of importance to many 
persons. By the method employed, the bulk and weight of the ap- 
paratus usually made use of are avoided, and the painful effects of the 
pressure of hard metal upon the gums removed, the elastic nature of 
gutta percha admitting of the closest contact with them without in- 
convenience. The substance is also coloured by a contrivance which 
closely imitates the natural colour of the gums. The invention, 
though simple, and without any complexity, is perfectly efficacious, 
and completely answers the purpose for which it is intended. 



INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS. 

On Dec. 23 was held the annual general meeting for the election 
of Members of Council for the ensuing year; for receiving the Annual 
Report of the retiring Council; and for distributing the Medals and 
Premiums. The Report referred particularly to the late Great Exhi- 
bition, many of the competing designs for the Building, as well as 
the suggestions for the guarantee fund, and several important points 
connected with the classification, &c, having emanated from members 
of the institution ; and amidst the Royal Commissioners, the Building 
Committee, their executive staff, and the jurors, many were to be 
found; even the designer of the Building, and thosewhose energies were 
so successfully devoted to the task of its construction, also belonged 
to the institution; whilst "the weight of responsibility, the arduous 
duty of supervision, the honour of acting as the master-mind to 
weigh the requisites, to determine the design, and to govern the con- 
struction, " were reserved for Sir William Cubitt, the president. 

"great exhibition" lectures. 
At the suggestion of his Royal Highness the Prince President, 
has been commenced at the weekly meetings of the Society of Arts 
a series of lectures on the probable results of the Great Exhibition 
of 1851. The following is the first list: — 

Nov. 2(1. —Rev. TV. Whewell, D.D. -Inaugural Lecture on the general bearing 
©f the Exhibition on the Progress of Arts and Sciences. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 18 

Dec. 3.— Sir II. De la Beche — Mining, Quarrying, and Metallurgical Processes 
and Products, 

Dec. 10. — Prof. Owen— Animal Kaw Products. 

Dec. 17. — Jacob Bell, Esq. — Chemical and Pharmaceutical Processes and 
Products. 

Jan. 7.— Dr. Lyon Playfair— On the chemical Principles involved in the Manu- 
factures shown at the Exhibition as a proof of the necessity of an Industrial 
Education. 

Jan. 14. — Prof. Lindley — Substances used as Food. 

Jan. 21. — Prof. E. Solly — On the Vegetable Substances used in the Arts and 
Manufactures, in relation to Commerce generally. 

j an . — 28.— Kev. Prof. Willis — Machines and Tools for working in Metal, 
Wood, and other Materials. 

Feb. 4. — J. Glaisher, Esq. — Philosophical Instruments and Processes. 

Feb. 11.— B. Hensman, Esq. — On Machinery and Civil Engineering generally. 

Feb. 18.— Capt. Washington, E.N. — Shipping, particularly Life Boats, in 
Class 8. 

March 3. — Prof. J. Forbes Koyle — On the Manufactures of India. 

Reports of these Lectures, corrected by the Authors, have been 
issued at an economical rate, by the Publisher of the present volume. 

ROYAL PANOPTICON OF SCIENCE AND ART. 

The space on the east side of Leicester-square, long vacant, is now 
being covered with a building for the Panopticon of Science and Art. 
The plan of the building comprehends a grand central hall, 97 feet 
in diameter, domed over, for the exhibition of machinery, manufac- 
tures, works of art, &c, and for exhibitions of various descriptions. 
There will be a lecture-room, laboratory, &c. All the buildings are 
designed in the Saracenic style, after models and details, chiefly 
from the existing remains at Cairo. The contour of the dome is 
taken from a Daguerreotype of a dome at Cairo. It will be constructed 
of glass and iron, on the ridge and furrow principle. The facade will 
be formed in cement. 



THE BRITISH MUSEUM. 

The Museum new building has been completed during the past 
year by the erection of the sculpture of the front pediment, which 
symbolizes in figures the various nature of the collection. The last 
vestige of old Montague House offices has been cleared away, and 
the area before the new building re-inclosed from Great Russeil- 
street by a cast-iron screen, heightened with gilding. The piers 
are remarkably large, the two flanking the central gate serving as 
lodges. — (See Vignette in Title-page.) 



STEAM-CARRIAGES ON COMMON ROADS. 

It is now twenty-five years since we described, in the Arcana of 
Science for 1828, Mr. Goldsworthy Gurney's proposed use of Steam- 
carriages on Common Roads. The project has lately been resumed 
by Messrs. Motley and Clarke, who have explained to a numerous 
meeting, in the Guildhall, Bath, the details and presumed improve- 
ments and advantages of their patent steam-carriage for common 
roads. "They propose to place the machinery in one carriage, 



14 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

called a steam-dray, and the passengers in another, attached. The 
boiler weighing only 1 cwt. per horse power, will stand a pressure of 
3001b. to the inch ; and one of 15-horse power, occupies a space of 
only 2^ X 4 X 6 feet. The maximum speed they state at 15 miles an 
hour, average 10 miles, and ascending an incline of 1 in 10 of 4 miles 
per hour. The steering apparatus moves the wheels, while the axle 
remains fixed, and they state they can stop instantly. The following 
letter from Mr. Simms, the engineer of Redruth, dated June 12, was 
read to the meeting : — ' You have got with you a partner in the 
patent, who is endowed with a highly inventive mind, and, having 
myself noticed the various plans hitherto brought before the public, 
I have no hesitation in saying that the plans suggested to me by 
Mr. Clarke, are very far superior to any others that have come under 
my notice. I have no doubt whatever that the steam-carriage for com- 
mon roads, will soon get extensively into use, and will be the most 
magnificent improvement with which the inventive genius of this 
great scientific country will astonish the world.' " — Mining Journal. 

It is proposed to raise for experiments, the sum of £500, in sums of 
£5 and upwards, and to give the benefit of the success to the first sub- 
scribers, in proportion to the sums subscribed. 



RAISING MATERIALS. 

In a paper read to the Institution of Civil Engineers, describing 
" the works on the Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway," by 
Mr. C. B. Lane, the various modes adopted, and mechanical contri- 
vances used, for Raising the Materials to a considerable height, were 
described ; and deductions were drawn from a very numerous series 
of experiments, to ascertain the values for the useful effect produced 
by the ' ' Labouring Force " (Whewell), or ' ' Travail Mecanique " 
(Poncelet), of a man under diffei'ent modes of its application, and also 
for a horse under alternating motion over a short space. From these 
it appeared, that the relative costs of raising the materials to a height 
of 46 feet, by the horse-lift, the swing-lift, and the box-lift, were 3'08, 
5*90, and 4'13 pence per ton respectively ; showing a saving in favour 
of the horse-lift against the swing-lift, of nearly threepence per ton, 
and against the box-lift of rather above one penny per ton. The com- 
munication was accompanied by a most elaborate series of tables on 
the absorption of water by bricks, by mortar, and by Shrewley sand- 
stone, — of the settlements of the arches of the street bridges, — 
and of the work performed by the various lifts, under different circum- 
stances, with the concurrent particulars, and that by ordinary hod- 
men. 



THE YACHT "AMERICA." 

At the Cowes Regatta, Aug. 22, in a match round the Isle of 
Wight, for a cup worth £100, open to all nations, an American 
yacht (the America) schooner-built, of 170 tons, started last, and 
came in first by nearly 8 miles. This startling fact renders the 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 15 

formation and rig of the yacht of great interest ; and they have been 
thus characterized in the Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette: — 

The first thing that meets the eye when the vessel is either afloat or in dock, 
is the position of the greatest transverse section, which, from our own observa- 
tion, we should think is situated at about ten-seventeenths of her whole length 
from forward ; which is very near to three-fifths the proportion usually given, we 
believe, in the vessels constructed upon Scott Eussell's Wave Line theory. At 
this section, the bottom greatly resembles those of the brigs of Sir W. Symonds, 
being nearly straight for several feet out from the keel, while the two sides in- 
clude an angle of about 100 degrees. At the fore-part, her appearance contrasts 
strangely with the observances of modern ship-building, which have been to avoid, 
as much as possible, hollow water lines; hers are very concave, and her fore- 
foot is exceedingly short, or, in other words, the lower part of the stem and gripe 
forms a long curve, and, therefore, but a small rudder is needed, in consequence 
of which, in steering, but little impediment is opposed to her passage through the 
water : hor great draught of water aft which is eleven feet four inches, while 
that forward is but six feet, adds also to her facility in steering. Any defect that 
might be expected to result from this in sailing on a wind, is quite avoided by her 
great depth of keel, which is two feet two inches amidships. 

The copper has been placed upon her bottom with great care, and every 
possible projection has been avoided, in order to diminish, as much as possible, 
the friction in passing through the water. In fact the vessel has been built in a 
decidedly skilful and superior manner. 

But by far the most distinguished feature of the America is the set of her 
sails. The most common observer of our yachts cannot have failed to notice 
the bellying of their sails, and that, too, not only when running free, but also 
when sailing on a wind. In the America this is to a very great extent avoided, 
and hence, we think, arises much of her superiority to the others; this, perhaps, 
will appear more plainly from the following considerations: — 

If the angle which the wind makes with the direction of the path of a vessel 
sailing be taken, and the pressure of the wind be resolved into directions parallel 
and perpendicular to an assumed position of the sail, that portion of the pressure 
which is parallel to the sail is ineffective in the propulsion of the vessel, while the 
resolved portion perpendicular to the sail may be again resolved into two others, 
one of which is in the direction of the vessel's motion; this portion maybe 
readily found in terms of the assumed angle which the sail makes with the direc- 
tion of the vessel's motion; then by the process of the differential calculus, the 
assumed angle may be readily determined to be such as to give the last men- 
tioned pressure a maximum value. Upon performing these operations we find 
that for the wind to drive the vessel with the greatest effect, the angle made by 
the sail with the direction of the vessel's motion must be just one-half of the 
angle made by the wind with the same direction. Hence it is necessary, in order 
to gain the greatest effect from the wind, that any horizontal line drawn on the 
sail should be a straight line, and should bisect the angle between the directions 
of the vessel's path and the wind. Therefore it follows that the further the sail 
is made to differ from a plane inclined in the above-named direction, the less 
effect does the wind have upon it. From this investigation it also follows that 
the bellying sails of vessels fail most decidedly in this respect, for from the 
nature of the case it is certain that the greater part of such sails stand in a posi- 
tion not adapted to receive the maximum pressure of the wind. The America's 
sails approach very much more nearly to the requirements of the above princi- 
ples than those of any other vessel we have ever before seen. The internal 
accommodations are notably good . 



THE WEST INDIAN MAIL-PACKET COMPANY'S STEAMERS, 
"DEMERARA" AND "AMAZON." 

These colossal Steamers have been launched for the Company 
during the past year; but, we regret to add, that the first vessel 
has been so damaged as to be rendered useless ; and the second was 
destroyed by fire on her first voyage, with an appalling loss of life. 



16 YEAR-BOOX OF FACTS. 

The Demcrara was constructed by Messrs. Patterson, of Bristol, 
the builders of the Great Britain and the Great Western; the royal 
mail steamers Severn, Avon, &c. The Demerara was launched on 
September 27. With the exception of the Great Britain, she 
is stated to be the largest steam-ship afloat ; her length of keel is 
276 feet ; length between the perpendiculars, 282 feet ; length over 
all, 316 feet, about 6 feet shorter than the Great Britain. Her 
breadth of beam is 41 feet, and extreme width from the outside of 
the paddle-boxes, 75^ feet; depth to the main deck, 26 feet 8 inches; 
depth of spar-deck, 7 feet; tonnage, old measurement, 2318 tons; 
new, upwards of 3000 tons. She is built of sound British oak, teak, 
and pine ; is diagonally trussed with iron ; has copper fastenings 
throughout to the 21 feet mark, and iron fastenings above that. She 
was to be propelled by two engines made by Messrs. Caird and Co., 
of Greenock, on the side-lever principle, of the combined power of 
750 horses, or 24,500,0001b., 96-inch cylinders, and 9-feet stroke. 
They were to have been attached to a pair of Morgan's patent 
feathering float-paddles. The vessel was, however, on being towed 
down the Avon, on November 10, so injured by straining in her 
timbers, that she has been condemned to be broken up. 

The Amazon, built by Messrs. R. and H. Green, of Blackwall, was 
the largest timber built steam-ship ever constructed in England ; and 
was fitted with engines of 800-horse power, by Messrs. Seaward and 
Capel, of Millwall; diameter of cylinders, 96 inches each; stroke, 
9 feet ; the engines making fourteen revolutions of the large paddle- 
wheels (40 feet 8 inches in diameter) per minute, and a speed by the 
log of 11 knots per hour. She drew 19 feet forward, and 19 feet 9 
inches aft ; she was considered capable of carrying 32-pounders, and 
two 10-inch pivot guns of 35 cwt. each, on her main-deck ; her coal- 
boxes were constructed to carry 1000 tons of coal, or upwards of 16^ 
days' consumption, at the rate of 2| tons per hour for her 26 fur- 
naces. She was fitted up with Captain Sir Snow Harris's lightning- 
conductors, and in case of need could accommodate 360 troops below, 
allowing each man 12 superficial feet; her engines were fitted in a 
framework independent of the vessel, and no perceptible vibration 
was felt when standing on deck over them. The length of the vessel 
was 310 feet, with a breadth of beam of 42 feet, and 72 feet over the 
paddle-boxes. The interior was fitted in a very elegant style, and 
the cost of the ship is stated at upwards of £80,000. The Amazon 
sailed on her first voyage from Southampton on Jan. 2, 1852 ; and, 
we lament to add, that on the morning of the 4th, when the ship was 
about 110 miles west-south-west of Scilly, a fire broke out which 
entirely consumed the vessel: 96 souls perishing in the conflagration. 
There were on board 161, and only 14 of those saved were passen- 
gers ; thus, nearly half the ship's company escaped, and only one- 
fourth of the passengers. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 17 

LIFE-BOATS. 

Mr. J. H. Brown, of Putney, has patented certain improvements in 
the construction and building of ships, boats, buoys, rafts, and other 
vessels and appliances for preserving life and property at sea. 

The first part of this invention consists in constructing ships, boats, 
and other vessels with double keels, and double or duplex rudders, 
and in adapting to their propulsion either the screw or paddle-wheels. 
The two keels are made parallel with each other, and extend along 
the whole length of the vessel, commencing at the bows at the water- 
line, where they unite with the cut-water, and terminating at the 
stern in two sternposts, from which the duplex rudders are hung in 
the usual manner. The space between the two keels is arched for 
the sake of obtaining greater strength, and they may be also bound 
together at intervals by stays connecting them one with the other. 

The second part of the invention consists in constructing the frames 
of Life-boats, rafts, and buoys, of hollow cases or tubes composed of 
gutta percha in combination with metal, wood, or other suitable 
material. Under this head of the invention the patentee describes a 
life-boat with a double keel, and deck entirely covered in with the 
exception of apertures for the rowers and passengers. These aper- 
tures are covered with pieces of India-rubber, having slits for the ad- 
mission of the occupants, for whom seats or slings are placed imme- 
diately underneath them. The bottom of the boat is provided with 
lockers for containing bread, water, &c. Rafts and buoys are con- 
structed on the same principle. 

Mr. H. Richardson, of Bala, North Wales, has patented an im- 
proved Life-boat, which consists of two or more tubes or pontoons 
of iron, copper, or other suitable material, divided by internal 
partitions into water-tight compartments, and connected or braced 
together externally with iron, or other stanchions or stays, upon 
which is laid an open or latticed deck, with the necessary seats for 
the occupants. 

In the Great Exhibition were shown a variety of life-boat models, 
which are severally described in the Extra Volume of the Year- 
book of Facts, pp. 192—195. 

Another important contribution to this branch of invention is the 
Report of the Northumberland Life-boat Committee, in which the 
280 models and plans of life-boats sent to compete for the 100 guinea 
prize, are described. 



SUBMARINE STEAM NAVIGATION. 

Dr. Payerne has constructed a Submarine Iron Boat, on the screw 
principle, measuring 27 feet long and 9f feet wide, which, according 
to M. Lamiral, his manager, perfectly accomplishes the purposes for 
which it was intended, by — 1. Alimentation of vital air constantly 
made under water, without any communication with the atmosphere 
above water. 2. Direct contact of the screw with the water at any 
depth, down to 150 feet. The alimentation of air is made by a 
double process, mechanical and chemical, which maintains, almost 

c 



18 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

without expense, the air perfectly pure and respirable in all her- 
metical places, such as diving-bells, submarine vessels, ships' holds, 
mines, &c. The apparent impossibility of maintaining under water 
a furnace with a current of air is completely conquered by chemistry 
in its pyrotechnical branch: a certain fuel is consumed in a hermetical 
furnace, and generates steam in the boilers. Favourable reports of 
this invention have been made by some of the most eminent men of 
science, and the Minister of Public Works has appointed a commis- 
sion to report upon it. 

"AMERICAN FLYING SHIP." 

Near Hoboken, within an enclosure of 290 feet long, has been con- 
structed a huge cigar-shaped Balloon, 260 feet long, and 24 feet in its 
greatest diameter. It has a car 64 feet long, very sharp at either 
end, width 5 feet, height 6 feet 4 inches; the whole composed of a 
strong, light, wooden frame, covered with canvass, and having doors 
and glass windows. It is to be propelled by two engines, made of 
gun-metal and cast-steel; they are of 12-horse power and are to work 
20-inch stroke 66 times per minute, which will give 400 revolutions 
to two propelling fans. The entire weight of the car, float, and fix- 
tures is stated at about 4000 pounds, having 2500 pounds surface. 
It is designed to run about 200 feet above the surface of the earth, at 
a speed varying from 25 to 50 miles per hour. It is calculated that 
the gas will have an upward buoyant force sufficient to raise more 
than 6000 pounds above the ground. The engines weigh only 181 
pounds, and are constructed by M. Robjohn, who proposes to drive 
this vessel by steam ; and to obviate the necessity of coal, he states 
that he has discovered a plan of decomposing water, which is con- 
verted into steam by the combustion; and this steam is again con- 
densed, and returned for decomposition. — Abridged from the Scien- 
tific American. 



CAVE'S IMPROVED DIVING-BELL. 

A new and happy modification of the Diving-bell has been invented 
by Mr. Cave, the eminent engineer, for the purpose of descending to 
the bottoms of rivers, and carrying on works there with greater 
facility than by the ordinary diving-bell. On the front of a dredging 
vessel is placed a large chamber, made of sheet iron, having the form 
of an elongated hemispherical cup, 22 feet 9 inches in diameter, and 
16 feet 3 inches in height. In the centre of the bottom of the vessel 
there is a large opening which communicates with the river, and in 
it is placed vertically a large cylinder of sheet iron, open at either 
extremity, and which can, by means of grooves, be' lowered to any 
depth that may be required. When it is desired to examine the bot- 
tom of the river, it suffices to lower the cylinder; and, by the aid of 
an air-pump, a large quantity of compressed air is forced into the 
chamber. The water by that means is expelled underneath the 
cylinder, until at length the bottom of the river is left dry. The 
workmen can then descend inside the cylinder, and proceed with the 
work without any difficulty. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 19 

For communicating from without with the chamber there is pro- 
vided an antechamber, for persons to go in and out without allowing 
the compressed air to escape from the inner chamber. The doors of 
the inner chamber are hermetically closed, by which means the loss 
of compressed air is small, and is easily replaced. For the purpose 
of opening the inner door, it is necessary to open a valve to allow a 
small quantity of air in the inner chamber to escape into the ante- 
room, to restore a balance, and make the pressure the same on both 
sides of the door. And a similar contrivance is necessary in the outer 
door; but before the valve is opened in the outer door, care must be 
taken to close the inner door and valve. There is another contrivance 
for forming an airtight connexion between the vertical cylinder before 
desci-ibed and the chamber. This is effected by a flexible joint or tube 
made of leather; one end is fastened to the bottom of the chamber, 
and the other to the top of the cylinder. This leather flexible tube 
allows some play in the cylinder, so as to adapt it to vai'ious depths 
of water, or variations in the depths of the river. The compression 
of the air is very easily accomplished by the steam-engine which 
usually accompanies dredging vessels. The engine works two air- 
pumps, which communicate by a pipe to the chamber, and supply 
compressed air at discretion : of course, the density of the air must 
be in proportion to the depth of the water. It would appear that 
the workmen do not feel any particular difficulty in working in such 
an atmosphere; the only inconvenience in the augmentation of the 
density of the air is a slight pressure and noise in the ears. This 
vessel on the Seine is only an experimental one, to show that all 
descriptions of work can be performed under water with the greatest 
facility. M. Cave has already established two similar vessels for 
scouring the mud-banks of the Nile. The dimensions of them are 
much larger, the cylinders being 29 feet 3 inches by 19 feet 6 inches. 
— The Architect and Civil Engineer. 

NOMINAL HORSE POWER OF STEAM-ENGINES. 

A PAPER on this inquiry has been read to the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, by Commander L. G. Heath, R.N. The inadequacy of the 
present term "nominal horse power" for giving a definite idea of 
either the absolute or relative power of engines was first examined, 
by comparing the engines of H.M.SS Garland and Basilisk, which 
were both constructed on the same principle, with oscillating cylinders, 
and were both used to drive paddle-wheels. This comparison was 
made under three distinct heads, — the mean effective pressure, the 
number of revolutions per minute, and the size of the cylinders. It 
was urged that Watt's constant of seven pounds per square inch, for 
the mean effective pressure, was not only in itself inapplicable, but 
that no constant quantity could be universally applicable. Also, that 
the method of determining the number of revolutions per minute, 
from a conventional speed, founded on the length of stroke of the 
piston was equally fallacious. It was therefore proposed, that the 
term "nominal horse power" should be abolished; and that engines 
Bhould in future be designated by the cubic contents of their steam 

C2 



20 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

cylinders, jointly with their nominal consumption of standard de- 
scription of fuel during a given period of one hour. A table might be 
drawn up giving this nominal consumption in terms of the grate and 
the heating surface, and should be accompanied by rules and direc- 
tions for ensuring the uniform measurement of the grate and the 
heating surface. This system, it was contended, would be more in 
accordance with the present practice of construction, and would enable 
the relative size and power of engines to be more accurately estimated 
than by the present method. 

nasmyth's improved safety-valve. 

Mr. J. Nasmyth has described to the British Association his im- 
proved Safety-valve, which appears to be characterized by remark- 
able simplicity of construction and efficiency of action, and likely to 
afford the utmost security which a safety-valve can, against ex- 
plosion arising from undue pressure. He prefaced his description 
by alluding to the main source of derangement and uncertainty in 
the action of safety-valves as hitherto constructed ; namely, the em- 
ployment of a conical bearing surface in the valve and its seat, which 
render the use of a spindle and guide socket requisite, so as to con- 
strain the valve to rise from its seat in a direction absolutely vertical 
to the seat or bearing. This guide spindle, to be of any service, 
has to fit the socket in which it works with considerable precision, in 
consequence of which any mud or incrustation which may chance to 
get upon the spindle of the valve, tends to prevent its rise, and so 
far arrest its action. In order to remove this serious defect, a 
spherical bearing has been employed, which, on permitting the valve 
to fit its seat in any position, dispenses with the necessity for any guide 
or spindle. 

The great feature in Mr. Nasmyth's improvement, however, con- 
sists in the peculiar mode by which a constant slight movement is 
given to the valve in its seat, by employing the motion of water 
during ebullition to so act upon the valve as to furnish the means of 
preventing it ever becoming set fast in its seat. This important 
object is obtained in the most simple manner, by attachingto the bottom 
of the weight which hangs down inside the boiler (and which weight 
is attached to the valve by an inflexible rod) a sbeet-iron appendage, 
which dipping a few inches into the water, transfers the constant 
swaying motion of the water to the valve in its seat, and so keeps it 
constantly free and ready to rise whenever the pressure attains the 
required force. 

Mr. Nasmyth exhibited several diagrams, drawn by the valve itself, 
which gave the most clear evidence of the existence and nature of the 
motion which the valve derives from the action of the water on the 
sheet-iron appendage before named. These diagrams were obtained by 
attaching a pencil to the top of the valve, and permitting it to draw 
upon a card such figures as resulted from the incessant slight motion 
of the valve. These interesting proofs of the success of the action 
of the valve attracted much attention. — Athenceum, No. 1237. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 21 

BISHOPP'S DISC ENGINE. 

A Disc Engine has been exhibited at the works of Messrs. G. and 
J. Rennie (by which eminent firm it has been built), for the purpose 
of enabling ship-builders and nautical men to judge of its suitableness 
for screw propulsion. The engine is a considerably improved edition 
of the one in use at the Times office.* The first of the improvements 
now introduced by Mr. Bishopp consists in dispensing with the slips 
and springs employed in packing the cones, by which arrangement the 
easiness and smoothness of the motion of the disc is much increased. 
Secondly, the cylinder is entirely enclosed by a steam-jacket. Thirdly, 
the groove on the top of the cylinder, hitherto employed as a guide for 
the disc, is dispensed with; and the bow of the diagonal shaft con- 
nected to a second bow ci'ossing it at, or almost at, right angles, the 
ends of which last are pinned to opposite sides of the cylinder in such 
a manner as to admit of the bow rocking on those pins or fulcra 
when the disc is in motion, and at the same time preventing the disc 
in steam-tight contact with the cones. A fourth improvement con- 
sists in connecting the end of the diagonal shaft with the driving 
crank by a ball and socket joint, which is capable of sliding in a 
radical slot, but kept to the periphery of the crank, by a block of 
vulcanized India-rubber, so as to prevent jarring. 

The working of the engine is beautifully smooth and easy; the 
high speed obtained renders it peculiarly adapted for driving the 
screw, without employing any such expensive and easily deranged 
gearing as is necessary with engines ordinarily applied to that pur- 
pose, the weight of the engine also is trifling ; it occupies but small 
space, and in consequence can be placed at a low level in the vessel. 
— Mechanics' Magazine, No. 1467. 



PATENT PRESSURE FILTER. 

Mr. James Forster, of Liverpool, has patented a Pressure Filter, 
consisting of a small globe, of a peculiar silicious sandstone, hollow 
in the inside, and contained in a metal jacket. When this compact, 
but extremely simple apparatus, is screwed on to the service-pipe, 
the water is forced through the stone globe by the ordinary pressure 
from the main, and comes out perfectly exempt from all foreign 
bodies, and as clear as crystal. The action is mechanical, and it 
admits the water to flow through with such rapidity that it can be 
fixed permanently to the service-pipe, in place of the usual brass 
cock. There are two taps attached, one of which draws the filtered 
water from the interior of the stone globe ; the other, the unfiltered 
water from the exterior. When the unfiltered water is drawn off for 
scouring or other purposes, it thoroughly cleanses the exterior of the 
filter from all mechanical impurities which may have collected on the 
surface, and by this means the filter is always kept sweet and clean. 
The apparatus is so formed as to allow of the sandstone globe to be 
readily detached from its exterior casing, and chemically purified by 
the most simple and ready means. This filter has received the 
* Described in the Year-book of Facts, 1850, p. 51. 



22 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

marked approval of the authorities at Gwydyr House ; and a very 
complimentary allusion is made to it in the Blue Book of the Sanitary 
Board, lieferring to the action of water on lead, when this metal 
happens to be mechanically diffused in pure water, at page 246, 
appendix 3, the report says — " One of the best preventives I have 
seen, is Forster's Patent Pressure Filter, which, although calculated 
to deliver the largest quantities, yet for domestic use need not occupy 
more space than the usual ball-cock of a cistern. Apart from its 
compactness, I have found that this filter completely arrests the 
action of lead, where, for the purposes of experiment, I have caused 
its oxide to be mechanically diffused in water." — Builder, No. 414. 



PARKINSON'S WATER-METER. 

A PAPER on this Water-meter has been read at the Institution of 
Mechanical Engineers ; upon which Mr. Clift observed, that he had 
carefully tested the meter, and found that it measured liquids very 
accurately, and, indeed, small quantities were measured by it more 
accurately than could be effected by pouring from one vessel into 
another. It was a very ingenious contrivance, for the valve took off 
the pressure and allowed the meter to work with a heavy pressure 
exactly the same as with the small pressure. Meters had heretofore 
been made to work under pressure, but it became impracticable to 
use them for common purposes, in consequence of their great expense, 
caused by the strength necessary to stand the heavy pressure. This 
meter was placed at the top of the building, and registered the water 
that passed down to supply the house ; the cistern below was always 
kept full, and not more than full, in consequence of the float-valve, 
which stopped off the supply when the water was not being used. 
The Sanitary Commissioners have recommended the employment of 
meters for the supply of water to all small houses in large towns, as 
the small consumers were at present supplied at a higher rate than 
others. 



PRISMATIC CLINOMETER. 

Mr. Pole has exhibited and explained to the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, an instrument of his invention, called the "Prismatic 
Clinometer," for measuring angles of elevation and depression. It 
is an application to vertical angles of the principle of Capt. Kater's 
prismatic compass, in which the angle is read by a prism, at the same 
time that the sights are directed to the object. The advantages of 
Mr. Pole's instrument are, its portability, it being only about three 
inches diameter and three-quarters of an inch thick, — its simplicity, 
durability, and safety in carriage, — the convenience and facility with 
which it could be used, — and its accuracy. The various applications 
of the instrument were explained, and also a modification of its con- 
struction, by which it could be combined with the prismatic compass, 
and a new compound instrument thereby produced, which would be 
exceedingly useful in topographical investigations. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 23 

PROPORTIONAL INSTRUMENT. 

This instrument, invented by J. H. Matthias, will divide readily 
and accurately any space within its range, decimally or otherwise. 

It consists of a chamfered scale, with lines of equal parts, drawn to 
its edge, underneath which a straight-edge is so contrived as to 
traverse it at any angle, and parallel with the edge of the scale. 

The scale consists of 100 equal parts — figured 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, &c. 
Its mode of operation is to set the zero at one end or point of the 
line to be divided, and the straight-edge at the other, which must 
also cut the number required on the scale. 

Example: If required to divide a line into 10 equal parts, set the 
zero at one point and the straight-edge at the other, cutting 100 on 
the scale. By reading back to zero, and marking off at each 10, the 
space will be so divided; or 10 divisions only can be taken with the 
same result. This will also apply if 100 be the number of parts 
required, by reading off every division. 

A line may be divided into 12 equal parts, by taking 12, or any 
multiple of 12 — as 24, 48, or 96, as may be convenient — and reading 
back 1, 2, 4, or 8, to zero, and pricking off at each point. 

Again, if a fractional part be required — say 11-fths — it will be 
done by setting the instrument at 93, reading 5 divisions for the 
fraction, which brings it to 88, and then every eighth division to 
zero — 8 times 11 being 88. 

If decimal parts alone are required — say 40 — set the instrument at 
40, and read back each division; or, if more convenient, at 80, and 
take every alternate division. Any multiple of a number may be 
taken to suit the space required to be divided. 

It can be read from either side of the straight-edge, as may be 
most convenient ; and a pencil line may be put on the edge for an 
index, when the angle is very acute. This instrument can be applied 
readily on any drawing to the line required to be divided; and, by 
using it with care, accuracy is obtained. 

The principle of this instrument being the geometrical method of 
finding proportions, any sum in arithmetic involving proportions 
may be worked with ease and accuracy. 

SPIRAL INSTRUMENTS. 

Mr. Penrose has exhibited to the Institution of Civil Engineers 
the Spiral Instruments recently invented and registered by him, 
called Penrose's ** Screw Helicograph, or Logarithmic Spiral Com- 
pass," and Penrose and Bennett's " Sliding Helicograph." 

In the latter instrument, with which volutes, and other forms of 
the logarithmic spiral were drawn, a frame sliding upon a smooth 
bar, was supported by a wheel, the axis of which being set at any 
given angle to the bar, produced by its obliquity the converging 
motion in a spiral arc. 

The " Screw Helicograph" used for drawing a more limited series 
of these curves, received its spiral action from a nut fixed in the 
centre of a revolving disc, which communicated motion to a screw; 



24 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

carbonic paper being used for obtaining an impression of the path of 
the disc. 



GALVANIC PRINTING-PRESS. 

Mr. Foreman, printer, New Boston, Illinois, has patented a 
Printing-press, which is moved and regulated by galvanic power. 
His paper works upon a reel, and is continuous, like the telegraphic 
coil. The paper passes over the type on a cylinder, and when one 
side is worked the paper is reversed, and the other side printed with 
a perfect register, and the sheets are clipped apart as they come from 
the press by an ingenious contrivance. According to American 
authorities, " there is no limit hardly to the speed at which this 
press will work ; its exactness is beyond anything known in this line 
of machinery ; and, what is better than all, Mr. Foreman says he can 
put up the largest sized press at a cost of not more than 500 dollars." 

NEW MEASURING MACHINES. 

Mr. Joseph Whitworth has exhibited to the institution of civil 
engineers, a new Measuring Machine, for determining minute differ- 
ences of length. The accuracy of the machine was demonstrated 
by placing in it a standard yard measure, made of a bar of steel, 
about three-quarters of an inch square, having both the ends rendered 
perfectly true. One end of the bar was then placed in contact with 
the face of the machine, and at the other end, between it and the 
other face of the machine, was interposed a small flat piece of steel, 
termed by the experimenter "the contact piece," whose sides were 
also rendered perfectly true and parallel. Each division on the 
micrometer represented the 1-1, 000,000th part of an inch, and each 
time the micrometer was moved only one division forward, the 
experimenter raised the contact piece, allowing it to descend across 
the end of the bar by its own gravity only. This was repeated until 
the closer approximation of the surfaces prevented the contact piece 
from descending, when the measure was completed, and the number 
on the micrometer represented the dead length of the standard bar 
to l-l,000,000th part of an inch. 

This method of operating was termed "the system of proof by the 
contact of perfectly true surfaces and gravity ;" and in connexion 
with it was shown another interesting experiment. 

When the micrometer was up within one division of the number 
where contact would be presumed to occur, the application of the 
finger to the centre of the steel bar sufficed to expand and lengthen 
it instantaneously, so as to prevent the descent of the " contact piece."' 

The other method of proof was by having a small simple battery 
composed of a piece of zinc soldered on to a piece of copper and 
plunged into rain-water, without the admixture of any acid ; this 
was connected with the two ends of the measuring machine, and also 
with a delicate galvanometer. On pursuing the same process of 
advancing the micrometer one division at a time, no effect was pro- 
duced, until the last millionth of an inch of distance was traversed 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 25 

and absolute contact occurred with the end of the bar, when the 
deflexion of the needle of the galvanometer instantly detected the 
movement. Repeated experiments showed this to be unerring in the 
result, and on placing the finger on the middle of the bar, under the 
same circumstances as in the other course of experiments, the 
expansion was instantly detected by the deflexion of the galvanometer 
needle. The delicacy of these experiments was so great as to pre- 
clude the possibility of making them in a crowd, or in a room with 
a varying temperature. 

A new machine has been produced by a working-man, named 
Thomas Best, an engineer and machinist at Greenacre's-moor, near 
Manchester. The body of the machine consists of a telescope-frame 
of steel, containing a screw, half an inch in diameter, and 7 inches 
long — a wheel, 14 inches in diameter, being affixed to one end of the 
screw. The edge of the wheel is divided into 500 parts, and as it 
requires 20 complete revolutions of the wheel to advance the screw 
1 inch, the turning it one division will advance the screw 1-10, 000th 
part of an inch. To the wheel-end of the telescope-frame a steel 
point is attached, the top of which (level with the upper part of the 
wheel) is the breadth of two of the wheel divisions. On one side 
the point is divided into ten, and on the other into six parts, so that 
the turning of the wheel the distance of one of these very minute 
divisions will cause the screw to move 1-60, 000th or 100,000th part 
of an inch, as may be required. Allowances for expansion or con- 
traction of the metal of the machine are also provided for. For the 
purpose of dividing, an addition is made on one side of a rest, for 
the substance to be graduated, and a tool-box is substituted for the 
face attached to the main-screw. It is said to be capable of dividing 
the English standard of lineal measui-e, its component 1-100, 000th 
part of an inch, but as it is regulated in tenths it is more immediately 
adapted to the division of foreign standards of lineal measure, and 
the graduation of scales in accordance therewith. 

INSTRUMENTS FOE MEASURING TEMPERATURES AND PRESSURES. 

A paper has been read to the Institution of Civil Engineers ; 
entitled " A Description of a new Metallic Manometer, and other 
Instruments for measuring Pressures and Temperatures," by M. 
Eugene Bourdon, of Paris. In the course of manufacturing a coiled 
copper worm for a still, one side becoming flattened by accident, 
internal pressure by a force pump was applied, to restore the 
cylindrical form, and to the astonishment of the author, as the 
pressure increased, the coiled tube unwound itself, until it became 
nearly straight. This induced further experiments, which resulted 
in the production of the various instruments described in the paper, 
and exhibited to the meeting. 

The transverse section of the coil was that of a flattened tube, 
which when acted upon internally by the pressure of steam, or any 
other fluid, had a tendency to uncoil itself, as the density increased, 
and to return to its original form on the pressure being removed. If 



26 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

it was exposed to external pressure, or a partial vacuum was created 
within it, the tendency of the tube was to coil itself up into a smaller 
diameter. In the former case, as the tube uncoiled itself, its sides 
became more convex, and its capacity became greater ; and in the 
latter instance, the capacity diminished as the sides collapsed and 
approached each other. It was on this relation, between the capacity 
of the tube, or the amount of convexity of the sides, and the diameter 
of the coil, that the action of the instrument depended. If a flat 
band of metal was bent round a circle, its transverse form remained 
unaltered, but if a semi-cylindrical, or gutter-shaped band, was bent 
into a circular coil, its convexity was diminished ; and if the circle 
formed by it was of small diameter, the band became almost flat in 
the transverse direction. It being then a law of general application, 
that a surface which was curved in two directions, could not have its 
curvature increased in one direction, without its curvature being dimi- 
nished in the other direction, and vice versa, the action of the instru- 
ments in measuring pressure, or temperature, was easily understood. 

The variation in the thickness, or capacity of a curved flattened 
tube, was shown by filling the tube with a liquid, and attaching to 
the centre of its external periphery, a small glass tube ; when every 
change of curvature produced a corresponding motion in the liquid 
in the tube ; for as the tube was straightened its capacity increased, 
and as it curled up again it diminished. 

The change in the thickness, or capacity of the tube being 
proportional to the variation of its radius of cui-vature, it was found, 
by experiment, that the motion of the extremities of the tube was in 
proportion to the pressure applied, so that the indications were equal 
for equal increments of pressure ; this fact greatly facilitated the 
construction of the indicating instruments. 

The simplest form exhibited, was that of the steam pressure gauge, 
in which rather more than one convolution of flattened tube was 
employed ; one end being attached to a stopcock, in connexion with 
the boiler, and the other extremity carrying an index pointer, which 
traversed a scale graduated to given pressures per square inch ; on 
the steam being admitted, the tube uncoiled, and the pointer 
indicated the amount of pressure to which it was subjected. 

When a greater range of motion was required, the lever, instead 
of being placed on the axis of the index, carried a toothed segment, 
which, working into a pinion on the spindle of the index, increased 
the extent of indication. This arrangement was adapted for barome- 
ters, in the construction of which the air was exhausted from the 
flattened tube, which was then hermetically sealed. The pressure " 
of the atmosphere acted on the exterioi', and was balanced by the 
elasticity of the tube, which varied in curvature with every variation 
on the pressure of the atmosphere. 

Many ingenious modifications of the principle, and adaptations of 
it to various purposes, were described. The construction of ther- 
mometers, by a spiral flattened tube, was extremely novel and good ; 
that also of a pyrometer, for measuring high temperatures, was 






MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 27 

equally clever. The steam-engine indicator became a very simple 
instrument, avoiding the error which was to be allowed for the 
friction of the piston of the ordinary instrument. 

The instruments were stated to be very generally adopted in 
France, where the government inspectors of steam-engines used 
pressure gauges on this principle, in verifying the accuracy of all the 
other instruments they found attached to the engines under their 
inspection. At the French Exposition of 1849, M. Bourdon received 
a gold medal; and at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, he was 
rewarded by a Council medal. 

CENTRIFUGAL APPARATUS. 

Mr. T. D. Rotch has patented certain improvements in Centri- 
fugal Apparatus for separating fluids from other matters. This 
inveution consists — 

1. In suspending the axes of centrifugal machines, to which the 
drums are attached, from a ball and socket bearing, and in causing 
the driving strap to act on a hemispherical drum forming the exterior 
of the bearing, in such manner as always to maintain the strap in 
a proper position for driving the machine, even when the oscillations 
of the drum shall have caused the axis to assume an oblique position 
instead of the vertical one in which it is suspended when in a state 
of rest. 

2. In forming the drum of such machines of corrugated metal, by 
which means a greater degree of strength is obtained in proportion 
to the thickness of the metal than when uncorrugated metal is 
employed ; whereby, also, the wire-gauze lining or perforated 
cylinder is kept from contact with all parts of the internal periphery 
of the drum. When the drum is made of uncorrugated metal, the wire 
gauze or perforated cylinder maybe kept from contact with all parts of 
it by the interposition between it and the drum of a coil of wire. 



PATENT BALLOTING-MACHINE. BY MR. CHAMBERLAIN. 

This Machine registers, on separate concealed dials, the votes 
given to particular candidates. It also registers for every vote 
given to a particular candidate one vote on an open dial. The votes 
are given by pulling levers opposite to the names of the candidates ; 
at the same time a bell sounds, without which no vote can have been 
given or register have taken place. Any attempt to pull two levers 
at one time locks the machine altogether. Any lever having been 
partially pulled, must be made to produce its full and proper effect, 
before any other use of the machine can be made ; so that having 
once commenced an operation, it must be completed. 

The number of candidates having been fixed, the machine is set so 
that only that number of levers can be pulled without calling into 
action the self-adjusting power of the instrument. This power, on 
the retirement of one voter, readjusts the instrument for the reception 
of a fresh one. There is a lever called the " plumper," or " nobody's 
lever/' by which the voter is enabled to vote in perfect secresy ; for 



28 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

although the number of levers pulled is indicated on the public dial, 
when this lever is used it is impossible to tell whether a vote has 
or has not been given. — Proceedings of the Society of Arts. 

At the same meeting, Mr. William Smith exhibited and explained 
the Balloting-Box, with which the votes of the Deputies in the 
French National Assembly are collected. Each deputy is furnished 
with a certain number of billets or metal tickets, inscribed with his 
name and that of his constituency ; the affirmative and negative 
billets are of different colours, and are formed with openings or 
wards, differing in each. The box has two embouchures, corre- 
sponding with the billets both in colour and in the formation of their 
wards or openings ; thus the affirmative opening is at a glance dis- 
tinguished from the negative one, while the entrance of a billet into 
the wrong embouchure is impossible. After passing the em- 
bouchures, the billets drop to the bottom of the box, their inscribed 
sides lying outwards. When all the votes have been given, the 
outside case is removed, and the names can be at once registered. 
The billets being all of the same thickness, a scale engraved on the 
side of the box enables their number to be quickly read. The 
machine is the invention of M. Debain. 



NEW HYDRO-PNEUMATIC WHEEL. 

A Canada correspondent of the Mining Journal describes a new 
description of Water-wheel, worked by the weight of water and 
atmospheric pressure. The wheel is placed in an air-tight box, and 
the floats or boxes acted upon by the fall of water in the usual way, 
but at each revolution the water is discharged in a stream down an 
air tube, causing a vacuum, and the pressure of the air at 15 lbs. on 
the square inch propels the wheel, in addition to the falling stream. 
The saving is said to be great, but the principle is not intelligibly 
described. 



ARCHIMEDEAN MANGLE. 

This improvement, by Mr. G Highton, of Liverpool, is a new 
adaptation of the principle of the Archimedean Screw ; and the 
simplicity of its construction may be seen from the fact that all the 
essential parts of the machinery consist in two small wheels with 
oblique teeth, on the endless screw principle, and a thick bar 
of iron with a double Archimedean screw carved round it. The bed 
of the machine is formed of planed slate, and the frame-work of ii'on, 
so as to resist the effects of heat and moisture, to which the best and 
most carefully constructed wooden mangles are liable. In point of 
durability, the small power required to turn it, and the almost 
impossibility of its getting out of working order, it possesses advan- 
tages over every other machine, while its price is lower than that 
for which the best mangles of the ordinary make can be obtained. 

SINGULAR THEATRE IN PARIS. 

An extraordinary edifice has been built in one of the least frequented 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 29 

streets of Paris. It is a spacious Theatre, externally in the Ionic style, 
capable of containing 3000 persons. The portion of the house intended 
for the public is a large elliptical vaulted hall, 126 feet by 66 in 
surface, and about 55 in altitude, with a ground floor, gallery, and 
two upper ones for spectators. The stage, situated in a semi-circular 
recess at the extremity of the transverse axis, encroaches upon the 
pit in a curve, so that the whole stage may be said to form a circle. 
The orchestra, instead of being placed between the spectators and 
the actors, is situated in the upper portion of the recess aforesaid, 
and is invisible to the public, though visible to the director of the 
band, who is seated in front of the stage, where the prompter 
generally sits. Besides this band, a second one, equally iuvisible to 
the public, may occupy a circular gallery surmounting the lustre, 
accessible by a winding staircase descending between iron bars from 
the vaulted ceiling of the house. This second orchestra is calculated 
to produce singular acoustic effects, hitherto unknown to the musical 
and theatrical world. We were present when an experiment was 
made by an eminent singer, who warbled some of his finest notes at 
the top of the gallery ; and although, at express desire, he sang in 
rather a subdued tone, the effect produced was far superior to what 
can be obtained with much greater effort in the ordinary theatres. 
The stage is raised 6 feet above the pit ; the space allotted to repre- 
sentation is 30 feet broad and 48 feet deep. But the most singular 
part of M. Barthelemy's contrivances consists in his curtains and 
back scenes, which, owing to the form adopted for the stage, are 
curvilinear also ; notwithstanding which, by means of cylinders of 
a peculiar construction, they are made to rise or drop as if they were 
flat. He has, moreover, introduced transparent as well as opaque 
scenes, so that extraordinary effects of perspective and distance are 
produced by different strata of gauze intercepting the view. Vertical 
as well as horizontal cylinders are used ; and the powerful illusions 
created by the simultaneous rolling and unrolling of partly opaque 
and partly transparent scenery leave those of ordinary theatres far 
behind. These contrivances have, of course, called for important 
modifications in the system of lighting both the house and the stage. 
There are no foot-lights, and the whole space is illuminated from 
above by an ingenious combination of reflectors. The house is, 
besides, so constructed that theatrical representations may be given 
by the sole aid of daylight, transmitted through panes of coloured 
glass. The foyer is a large room under ground, occupying the whole 
room of the pit and stage. — Galignani's Messenger. 

COAL-WHIPPING BY STEAM. 

Messrs. E. and A. Prior, of Upper Thames -street, have patented 
a plan for discharging colliers by steam power. The engine, which 
was designed by, and constructed under the direction of, Mr. F. H, 
Trevithick, takes up but little room on the deck of a vessel ; the 
action is direct, the piston-rod working the crank-axle, on which is 
the drum that winds the chain, drawing up the box from below. 



30 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

The engine, when not at work, is kept in a barge built for the pur- 
pose, with its mast, tackle, chains, &c, by which it can be slung on 
board with the greatest facility, and taken away when the hold of 
the vessel has been emptied of its contents. The boxes used hold 
5 cwt., and by this plan more than 20 tons per hour can be delivered 
into the barges. A 70-ton barge has been filled in three hours ; and on 
one occasion, 209 tons were delivered from a vessel in nine hours and 
a half, with one gang, consisting of four men ; but the operation is 
yet young, and, from the observations made on our visit, we have 
no doubt a quantity of 30 tons per hour may be accomplished. A 
gang of men, by the aid of ropes and blocks, could barge about 50 
tons a clay. — Mining Journal. 

ROSENBORG'S CASK-MAKING MACHINERY. 

A NOVEL method of constructing Casks and Barrels, and all ves- 
sels connected with cooperage, may be seen in operation at the 
Patent Cooperage Works, in Wenlock-road, City-road. By the em- 
ployment of the steam engine, the circular saw, and a recently- 
invented jointing and backing-machine, a cask of the largest dimen- 
sions can be completely formed and made ready for use in the short 
space of five minutes from the raw material — viz., a piece of oak. 
The staves of the cask are first cut with straight sides, the circular 
saw being placed at a right angle with the oak plank. The stave is 
then placed horizontally, and bent into a curve by a powerful ma- 
chine, and brought into contact with a circular saw on each side of 
it, placed at an angle. This process gives the proper shape to the 
stave, the sides being gradually tapered at the ends, and made to 
bulge in the middle. The jointing and backing-machine, the new 
invention, is also used for this purpose, and is more rapid in its exe- 
cution than the angular saws ; it, in fact, works with the most mar- 
vellous rapidity and precision. The staves and one end of the cask 
are then placed in a machine formed of iron rods, called a trussing 
machine ; each rod acts upon a separate stave, and, the whole of 
the staves being equally compressed into a circle, the hoops are 
placed around them, and the cask is complete. The neatness and 
finish of the work is equal to what a good cabinetmaker can produce, 
every part being true and accurate. The calculation is, that fifteen 
workmen, with the use of this machinery, can make 150 casks a day ; 
whereas the same number of persons, using only manual labour, 
could scarcely produce a seventh part of that number. — Times. 

bovill's patent for grinding corn. 
This invention introduces a few very simple but very effective 
improvements, by which the evils of the present system of corn- 
grinding are completely surmounted. Mr. Bovill directs a strong 
current of cold air between the closely -set surfaces of the stones as 
they revolve ; and in this way, not only is the substance of each seed 
at once released from further pressure as soon as it is converted into 
meal, but it is effectually dried at the same time, and comes away 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 31 

perfectly cool, and free from any tendency to ferment. "While the 
meal is carried off by the usual channels, the blast of air is carried 
upwards by a very pretty contrivance, and discharged through a 
woollen screen, in which all' the finer particles of dust swept along 
with it are arrested and preserved for use. The hot, damp feel of 
the current, as it makes its escape from the grindstones, sufficiently 
attests the valuable purposes which it serves, in relieving the manu- 
factured article from moisture and heat — the incentives to fermenta- 
tion. In this way, twice the quantity of grain can be passed through 
the mill as in the ordinary system, and thus, besides other important 
advantages secured, each pair of stones is enabled to do a double 
amount of work. A great economy of coals and other expenses in- 
cidental to the miller's trade is, of course, the consequence, not to 
mention that there is no waste from dust flying about, the machinery 
being all closed in ; no injury to the stamina of the flour from unne- 
cessary trituration ; no tendency to ferment, the period for resting 
and cooling the meal being thereby dispensed with. So entirely is 
this last the case, that the processes of grinding and "dressing " go 
on continuously, and without a moment's interruption. But, in 
separating the flour from the bran and pollard, Mr, Bovill's patent 
follows an entirely different course from that usually pursued. In- 
stead of a metallic sieve and brushes violently squeezing the powdered 
substance of the wheat through it, a fine silk screening apparatus is 
used, and the flour is dusted through it either by its specific gravity 
or by a current of air, if necessary. 

In this way, gently and without compulsion, the manufacture is 
completed, and that there may be no mistake as to the efficiency of 
the new method, we give a few of the more striking results which 
it has already yielded. In the first place, then, red wheat can be 
converted by this process into flour equal to that of white wheat — a 
fact in itself of immense importance to farmers, and which makes a 
difference in favour of the hardier and more prolific varieties of grain, 
amounting to 4s. per quarter. Again, there is a considerable saving 
in the quantity of flour got from the same description of wheat, and 
the quality is so superior, that out of a sack eight quartern loave3 
are obtained beyond the usual number. The flour produced is found 
to stand keeping even in summer weather. The Government, after 
a lengthened investigation, have adopted Mr. Bovill's invention at 
Deptford. Messrs. White, Ponsford, and Co., extensive millers at 
Reading, and Mr. Dives, at Battersea, have taken up the matter as 
a private speculation of the most promising description. — Abridged 
from The Times. 



CLOCKS AND CHRONOMETERS. 

Professor Cowper has delivered to the Society of Arts a lecture 
on Clocks and Chronometers, in which he traced the construction of 
a measurer of time from its simplest form of a sand-glass to the most 
ingenious contrivances employed in the best chronometer. 

It was followed by a conversation, extending over two evenings, in 



32 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

which Mr. Frodsham, Mr. Vulliamy, Mr. Bennett, and other eminent 
watchmakers took part. In the course of the conversation it was 
stated that, while the sale of cheap foreign watches is greatly on the 
increase, the revenue derived from the import duty is declining, — 
showing that a large number must be smuggled. The main cause of 
the low cost of the Swiss watches as compared with our own was 
said to be, the employment of women and children to make many of 
the smaller parts which in this country are made by men. It was 
thought by some of the speakers that it would be wise to follow their 
example. The delicate fingers of a woman are much fitter for some 
fine kinds of work than those of a man, and her habits more suited to 
such sedentary occupation. In Switzerland, the watch-making does 
not interfere with domestic duties. Then, the labour market here is 
overstocked with women, who are now working for the slopsellers at 
as many pence as they could earn shillings a day if employed on 
watch-making. If by such a step we could come nearer the price 
of the foreign makers, there is little doubt that the better quality of 
our common watches would soon beat the Swiss out of the field. But 
it was allowed on all hands, that in chronometers and watches of 
first-rate quality, we have no rivals. — Athenceum, No. 1224. 



WEAVING AND PRINTING TEXTILE FABRICS. 

Mr. Sievier, of Upper Holloway, civil engineer, has patented 
certain improvements in weaving substitutes for " Kidderminster" 
or "yard-wide" Carpets, by the employment of an additional warp- 
thread, (which may be of any thickness, of waste cotton, ©r other 
inferior material, and which the patentee calls "the dead-warp," 
from its never appearing on the face of the fabric,) in combination 
with the binder-warp, and with one or two wefts, according as the 
opposite faces of the fabric are required to be of similar or of dissi- 
milar qualities. When two wefts are employed, the dead -warp 
never moves from its horizontal position ; and it then forms a race 
for the upper shuttle to travel on, the lower shuttle running against 
the under side of the dead-warp, and the shed being divided into 
two parts by the dead-warp, and each of the shuttles being thrown 
simultaneously from one side of the loom to the other. The fabrics 
thus produced are of considerable substance, but from their being 
quite plain, require to be printed. 

Of the improvements in printing, Mr. Sievier describes three modi- 
fications, — The first of these consists principally of two flat rings, or 
circular tables, one above the other, the upper one carrying the 
printing-blocks, and the lower table the colour-troughs and serving- 
rollers for applying the colour to the printing surfaces. These rings 
are caused to rotate so as to bring each block successively over each 
of the printing-tables in connexion with the apparatus, on which 
are laid the fabrics to be printed ; and while in this position, the 
blocks or printing-surfaces are subjected to pressure from a platten 
over the table actuated by cranks on a revolving-shaft, driven by the 
same machinery as is employed to rotate the tables. The fabrics, 






MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 33 

after being successively printed on by each of the blocks in the series, 
so as to produce on them a perfect pattern with any number of 
colours therein, are removed by means of a triangular frame, which 
has a suitable intermittent motion, and is so constructed as to remove 
from the table at each partial revolution a length of fabric equal to 
the repeat of the pattern. 

The second arrangement differs from that just described in being 
of a rather simpler construction; in this arrangement the printing- 
tables, instead of being fixed and acted on by pressing- surfaces, are 
caused themselves to press the fabric against the printing-block, or 
engraved plate during its passage in juxtaposition to the fabric. 

In the third arrangement, the printing is effected by the employ- 
ment of engraved rollers, which are supplied with colour by other 
rollers dipping into colour-troughs, and the pressure necessary to 
produce an impression is obtained from a third set of rollers, between 
which and the printing-rollers the fabric is caused to pass on a suit- 
able blanket or carrying-band. 



PROGRESS OE THE WAVE SYSTEM OF NAVAL CONSTRUCTION. 

Mr. John Scott Russell has thus detailed this progress to the 
British Association : — 

" At the last meeting I laid before this section an account of the successful 
introduction of the Wave system into practice on several steam-vessels and 
sailing vessels at Kio Janeiro, by Mr. Dodgson, who had found the system in all 
respects successful, and that the vessels he had built on it had beaten their 
competitors on the old system. Since that time a treatise on Naval Architecture, 
published in America, 'has been transmitted to this country. It contains 
drawings of many of the most recent and celebrated vessels constructed in that 
country. The author of that treatise does not hesitate to avow frankly the 
general adoption of the principles of the wave system by the builders of the best 
and fastest vessels in America. He gives accurate drawings which are evidently 
made in accordance with it. He quotes experiments as high as twenty-four miles 
an hour, which speed has been attained by its use. He unhesitatingly declares 
his own implicit belief in the system and entire adoption of it. In our own 
country the most eminent builders of fast steam-vessels continue to adopt the 
most prominent characteristic of the wave system, viz. hollow water-lines for the 
bow— much fuller water-lines abaft than forward— the greatest breadth nearer 
the stern than the bow. I am not sure, however, how far the builders of these 
vessels would wish it to be understood that they do adopt the wave system; and 
I shall therefore confine my further observations to vessels which have been built 
under my own immediate care. 

" During the last year, an opportunity has presented itself of obtaining one of 
the most decided practical experiments on a large scale, regarding the excellence 
of the new form for steam-vessels. A pair of marine engines of 220-horse power 
had been working on board a wooden steam-vessel of 450 tons, being a proportion 
of one-horse power to two tons nearly. The beam of the vessel was twenty -four 
feet and her draft of water nine feet. This vessel was built on the old system, 
according to his own plan, by one of the most eminent builders of steam-vessels, 
and was placed on the line between London and Antwerp, where it realized a 
maximum speed of ten miles an hour. These engines, with the same paddle- 
wheels, were then taken out of the vessel, and were placed in a new iron vessel 
built on the wave system by Messrs. Kobinson and myself. This vessel was of 
larger beam and greater length of bot ! ) r than the former, being 570 tons, with 25 
feet beam and 9 feet draft. The experiment has now been tried with the same 
old ennines, but repaired and furnished with new boilers, capable of supplying 
the full amount of steam to the engines. The residt has been conclusive. The 

D 



34 YE AR -BOOK OF FACTS. 

vessel has not been made unusually sharp or fine, but on the contrary is a capa- 
cious sea-going vessel, with capacity for 150 tons of cargo more than the former 
vessel. The new form of vessel with the old engines has attained a maximum 
speed of fifteen miles an hour, being a clear gain of speed of five miles an hour. 
It is important to observe that where speed is obtained by improved shape of 
vessel, it is obtained at the least possible first cost and greatest economy in 
daily use. 

"I have next to report during the past year the first application of the wave 
system to the construction of war steamers. It had long been supposed that, 
owing to the fineness of water-fines of the bows of vessels built on the wave 
system, it would not be possible for them to carry the same amount of heavy 
ordnance calculated to fire in a line with the keel as in vessels of the ordinary 
construction. Even in these it is difficult to carry so large an armament in 
proportion to tonnage as is desirable. During last year, however, two war 
steamers have been constructed for a foreign government, of 500 tons and 160- 
horse power, upon the wave system, by Messrs. Kobinson and Eussell. They 
have been fully armed, stored with provisions and fuel, and tried by a naval 
commission at sea, and have been accepted as having fulfilled the following 
conditions of their construction, namely that they were to carry double the 
armament of any war steamer of the same tonnage and power and go two knots an 
hour faster than any vessel in her Majesty's navy. Vessels 165 feet long, 26 feet 
wide, 500 tons ; engines, 48 inches diameter, 4 feet 6 inches stroke, 160-horse 
power ; armament four 8-inch guns, 9 feet 6 inches long ; ammunition 100 rounds ; 
fuel, 2000 miles steaming ; speed, 15 miles an hour light, 13 miles an hour loaded. 

" I have last to report the trials, during the past winter, of a yacht, the Titania, 
built for Mr. R. Stephenson, the eminent engineer ; who had confidence enough 
in the wave system to give it a fair trial on a sailing schooner, which he sent 
round during last winter by the Bay of Biscay to Alexandria, and in which he 
encountered severe hurricanes in the Mediterranean. The results of the experi- 
ments are, that the wave vessel has been found in every respect a good sea 
boat ; and, contrary to the expectations of many who fancied that the fine bows 
of wave vessels were only good for fair-weather sailing, it has turned out that 
while in light and smooth-water vessels of a lighter bufid and larger sails may 
pass the Titania, yet that in any weather stronger than a light breeze she has beat 
every vessel she has encountered, including yachts of high reputation and larger 
tonnage. It thus appears that during 1850-51 very considerable progress has 
been made in the introduction of the wave principle into practical use." 



CONSTRUCTION OF IRON VESSELS. 

A PAPER has been read to the British Association, "On the Con- 
struction of Iron Vessels exposed to Severe Strain," by Mr. W. 
Fairbairn. In the construction of vessels such as boilers, pipes, &c, 
exposed to severe internal pressure, it is desirable to obtain some 
knowledge of the strength and condition of the material used, and 
some fixed rules calculated to enable us to judge with accuracy as to 
the disposition of the parts, in order to apply the greatest strength in 
the direction of the greatest strain, — and, in fact, so to dispose of the 
material, that every part of the vessel shall balance itself in its 
powers of resistance when subjected to uniform pressure. To attain 
these objects, the author gave the results of his experiments on the 
resistance of malleable iron plates, first announced to the British 
Association, and subsequently published in the "Transactions of the 
Royal Society." These experiments were originally undertaken to 
determine the strength of metal plates, beams and angle iron, as 
applied to ship building ; and they have since been continued, from 
time to time, for the equally important purpose of improving the 
construction of malleable iron bridges, boilers and other vessels, such 



r 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 35 

as caissons and sheet-iron pipes, which are now coming into more 
general use for pump -trees and other articles connected with mining. 
In order to acquire satisfactory data on the strength of the material 
employed, a variety of plates from Low Moor, Staffordshire, and 
other parts, were submitted to direct experiment : first, by tearing 
them asunder in the direction of the fibre; and secondly, across it. 
The tensile strength per square inch was ascertained to be aa 
follows : — 

In the direction Across the 
of the fibre. fibre. 

Tons. Tons. 

Yorkshire plates 2426 26-93 

Derbyshire plates 21-68 1865 

Shropshire plates 22-82 22-00 

Staffordshire plates 1956 2101 



Mean in tons 2216 2229 

From this it will be observed that there is no difference in the 
strength of iron plates, whether torn in the direction of the fibre or 
against it ; and this uniformity of strength probably arises from the 
superior manner in which that article is now manufactured. The 
experiments would, however, be imperfect as regards construction, if 
they had not been extended to the process of riveting ; and on thia 
point our information has been of the most meagre description. 
Until of late years, many of our numerous constructions have been 
conducted under the impression that the riveted point was not only 
strong, but absolutely stronger than the plate itself; whereas, more 
than one-third of the strength is lost by that process. To prove the 
fallacy of these views, it was ascertained by experiment that the 
strength of iron plates, as compared with their riveted joints, was 
not only weakened to the extent of the quantity of metal punched 
out to receive the rivets, but that in the following ratios — viz., as 
1000 to 700 in the double-riveted joint, and 100 to 560 in the single- 
riveted joint. From the above facts practical formulae have been 
deduced to show that the maximum resistance of single-riveted 
plates does not exceed 27,0001b. to the square inch; and taking 
into account the crossing of the joints and other circumstances 
peculiar to sound construction, 34,0001b., or 15 tons per square 
inch, has been found to be the maximum strength of riveted platea 
such as those used for boilers and similar constructions. In conclu- 
sion, attention was directed to several important improvements^ in 
connexion with the construction of steam-boilers by the introduction 
of gussets to strengthen the flat ends and retain thern in shape. 
After noticing that all boilers should be of the cylindrical form, Mr, 
Fairbairn observed that where flat ends are used they should be com- 
posed of plates one-half thicker than those which form the circum- 
ference. The flues, if two in number, to be of the same thickness aa 
the exterior shell, and the flat ends to be carefully stayed with 
gussets, of triangular plates and angle iron, connecting them with 
the circumference and the ends. The use of gussets is earnestly 
recommended as being infinitely superior to, and more certain in 

d2 



36 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

their action than stay rods. They should be placed in lines diverging 
from the* centre of the boiler, and made as long as the position of the 
flues and other circumstances in the construction will admit. They 
are of great value in retaining the ends in shape ; and may safely be 
relied on as imparting an equality of strength to every part of the 
structure. — Athenceum, No. 1238. 



PADDLE-WHEELS. 

Mr. John Scott Russell has patented certain improvements in 
the construction of ships or vessels propelled by Paddle-wheels, with 
a view to better arming the same. Usually, the paddle-boxes project 
from the sides, and have at each end, or fore and aft, platforms or 
projections. These are in some cases merely overhanging stages — in 
others, the sides of the ship at each end of the paddle-boxes are 
sponsoned out, and the platforms then constitute a portion of the 
deck, whilst occasionally the two modes of construction are found 
combined. The additional spaces obtained by the platforms are in 
many instances wholly or partially occupied by deck-houses, and the 
bulwarks either follow the contour or outline of the deck, bending off 
and including the platforms, or else they follow a line which would 
leave the platform on the outside of the bulwarks. Now the object of 
the patentee is to take advantage of the space afforded by these plat- 
forms for mounting, working, and pointing guns, so as to admit of 
their being fired in a line approaching more nearly to parallelism with 
the line of keel than has been hitherto practicable with guns placed 
in or about the middle of the vessel. To attain this end, it is neces- 
sary that the bulwarks should include the platforms, from which the 
deck-houses would have to be removed in vessels altered according to 
this invention, whilst in building new ones, they would be altogether 
dispensed with. The angle which it is preferred the platforms should 
n>ake with the deck is 45°, or thereabouts ; but this may be varied, 
and they may even be made so bluff as to admit of the lines of 
fire of the guns on opposite sides of the vessel intersecting each other 
a short distance in advance of the bow or stern. The platforms may 
be supported on beams similar to paddle-beams, or the sides of the 
ship may be sponsoned out in order to obtain the necessary degree of 
solidity ; but in all cases they should be so constructed as to be fully 
capable of sustaining the weight and pressure of the guns to be there 
mounted, and so as to be on exactly the same level as the deck, to 
admit of the slides and carriages being readily moved. The bulwarks 
are to be provided with ports and fittings adapted to the description 
of guns intended to be placed on the platforms. Instead of making 
the bulwarks of the platforms fixtures, they may be constructed so as 
to be capable of being moved inboard when the guns are not in use. 

CAPTAIN CARPENTER'S DUPLEX RUDDER AND SCREW PROPELLER. 

Captain Carpenter has communicated to the British Association 
the following details of this invention : — 
" The models represent views of a Screw Steamer constructed on what, after 



8 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 37 

much consideration, I have determined to call the duplex principle, namely, with 
two rudders and two propellers for improved steering and propelling. Fig. 1. 
represents a stern view, showing the position of the two rudders, which are re- 
moved out of the direct line of the midship keel, with an open space between 
them ; and the two propellers are represented in their new position for propelling. 
To construct a vessel on this plan, the deadwood, sternpost, and rudder are 
removed from their former position, and the midship keel, which before was placed 
in a straight and horizontal line from stem to stern is now made to rise up on a 
graduated scale from the midship section to the water line of the midship part 
of the stern, where it terminates. The additional keels lie in a parallel line with 
the midship keel, but placed at a distance of two or more feet, according to the 
size of the vessel on either side of it, terminating near to the midship section in 
the fore part, and in a line with the former sternpost in the after part. A 
sternpost is placed at the end of the additional keels, and upon each of them 
haaogs a rudder. Framework is carried down to these keels, in proper archi- 
tectural lines for speed, at the same time connecting the frame together so that 
the strength of the vessel is increased in the after section, where it is most re- 
quired in a screw steamer. Between this framework a channel is formed for 
the water to pass away freely in a direct line with the midship keel. A screw 

ropeller works in an orifice in each framework on the common arrangement. 

ne of the propellers is a little more aft than the other to allow full play to both, 
and yet economize space in the mid-channel. The propellers turn each of them 
towards the centre line of the vessel for propelling and the reverse w r ay for 
backing. A steering-wheel is placed on the deck in the usual way, and con- 
nected with the tillers, which move the rudders together in parallel planes, or 
separately as may be required. The propellers can be lifted out of the water, 
for Bailing, by means of a simple apparatus, which is placed on the deck for that 
purpose, or they may be feathered if preferred. This arrangement is found by 
experiments to have the best effect for steering or propelling, although this new 
form of vessel admits of many variations of adapting the ordinary propeller or 
other propellers to it; for example, the common paddle-wheel may be placed on 
the sides of the vessel in the usual way, or the common screw propeller may be 
placed between the framework, or sailing vessels may be constructed on this 
principle. 

" The advantages of the duplex rudder and screw propeller maybe considered 
under three heads : first, as regards the two rudders; second, the two propellers; 
and third, the construction of the vessel. To explain the advantages fully of 
having two rudders to a vessel instead of one, it will be necessary to refer to 
what has actually taken place practically on this model, as I have not been able 
to make any experiments on a larger scale up to this time. The duplex rudder 
has the power of turning the vessel about in the extremely short space of less 
than once and a half of her own length, with the helm put hard over on starting, 
and going full speed all the time till the circle has been completed. A single 
rudder of the same 3ize placed in a line with the midship keel on the same model, 
and propelled in the usual way with a screw propeller in the deadwood, will not 
turn a vessel about in less than four and a half times her own length under 
similar circumstances. This fact shows the infinitely superior power and com- 
mand there is over a vessel at all times with the duplex rudder in comparison 
with that in general use, and consequently that accidents by collision would be, 
in a great measure, prevented, and the general safety of steam-vessels better 
secured by its adoption. Moreover, as either df the rudders on the duplex prin- 
ciple can be used to steer with singly, it is evident that in the event of damaging 
either one or the other that the vessel would be still under command, and there- 
fore safe from immediate danger, — when a vessel fitted with a single rudder 
would be in a perilous position." 



ROMAN ROADS AND BRITISH RAILWAYS. 

A paper has been read to the Institute of British Architects, " On 
Ancient Roman Roads and Modern British Railways," by the Rev. 
R. Burgess, B.D. Adverting historically to the successive labours of 
the Roman Emperors in the formation and repair of roads in Rome 



38 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

and its provinces, the lecturer showed that a continuous roadway 
existed from the wall of Antoninus in North Britain, to Rome, and 
thence to Jerusalem; — a distance of 3655 miles, exclusive of a sea 
passage of 85 miles ; and in illustration of the character of the Roman 
roads, he selected for description the Via Appia, one of the twenty- 
nine roads which diverged from the imperial city, — quoting parti- 
cularly the description of it by Procopius, and referring generally to 
the account given by Vitruvius of the various kinds of roads and 
their respective formation. Comparing the modern British railways 
with those ancient ways, he dwelt on their general similarity in the 
directness of their course, their level surface, and the severance of 
natural obstacles in order to attain those objects. He minutely com- 
pared the great masonic works on the Via Appia with the high-level 
bridge at Newcastle, the Tweed viaduct at Berwick, and the Britan- 
nia and Conway bridges; arriving at the conclusion that one hundred 
such works as the great substructure of the Appian way at Arici would 
hardly equal in cubic contents and probable cost the four great works 
in question. He adverted to the enormous cost of these modern 
structures, — observing that the charges for land, law, and parlia- 
mentary expenses were unknown to the Romans; and expressed, in 
conclusion, the assurance that our own superiority consisted more in 
mental power and scientific knowledge than in the mere application 
of unskilful labour. In the discussion which ensued, the general im- 
portance of improved communication, as evinced in the present con- 
gress of all nations, was especially referred to ; and among matters of 
detail, the various systems of paving recently adopted in the metro- 
polis were discussed. 



IMPROVEMENTS IN SLEEPEES, RAILS, AND MACHINERY. 

Mr. James Samuel, C.E., has patented certain improvements in the 
construction of Railways and Steam-engines, and in steam machinery. 
He claims the construction of longitudinal trough sleepers. Also the 
construction of metallic bearing plates or chair sleepers described. 
2. The construction of fish-chairs described. 3. The modes of secur- 
ing and construction of the ends of rails by scarf -points. 4. The 
corrugation of rail-bearing plates, either transverse or longitudinal. 
5. The construction of hollow slide valves, with metal packings and 
springs, in the manner specified, in order to admit of the waste steam 
passing through the back of the valve. 6. The mode or modes of 
constructing such steam-engines as have two or more cylinders, 
working with their cranks at right angles to each other, or at about 
such angles, so that steam used for giving motion to the piston of one 
cylinder may be transferred to another, and used in giving motion to 
its piston, whereby a great degree of expansion is obtained. 7. The 
construction of small steam-engines or "donkey," used for pumping 
water into the boilers of large engines, such engines having pump 
barrels, pistons, and plungers, such as described. — Builder, No. 414. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AKTS. 39 

ADDISON'S RAILWAY SIGNALS. 

In the greater number of Railway Signals hitherto introduced, the 
chief objection to their working has been, that whilst they alarmed 
the guard, they at the same time alarmed the whole of the passen- 
gers; and by the confusion and commotion thus produced, actually 
endangered the safety of every one. This objection applies with 
greater force to those signals which may be called noisy signals than 
to any others. Captain Addison has, however, invented a signal 
which alarms the guard — and the guard alone ; which is of mechanism 
so simple as to be capable of being always preserved in an efficient 
state, which can only be made by a person travelling in the carriage, 
which cannot be made by him without the full cognizance of his fel- 
low passengers, and which indicates clearly and unmistakably the 
carriage from whence it proceeds. The day signal consists of the 
springing out from the side of the carriage of a large iron flag, some- 
what similar to that earned by some of our omnibuses, which is 
thrown out on an iron arm to such a distance from the carriage as to 
be distinctly visible to the guard, whose business it is to keep his eye 
constantly along the whole line of carriages. During the course of 
an experimental journey, this signal was given at least a dozen times, 
and was always acknowledged within two seconds of the time of its 
exhibition. The experiment had been performed several times before 
any of the passengers by the other cai-riages were at all aware of what 
was going on, and had it not been that they heard the conversation 
on the subject which took place at the different stations where the 
train stopped, they would have completed their journey without 
being aware that any experiments whatever had been tried. The 
experiment with the night signal was equally successful. In the 
night signal, at the same time that the iron flag flies out, a hammer 
falls upon a blue light, fitted up with a percussion apparatus, which 
at once ignites the light, and thus points out the carriage. The suc- 
cess of these experiments was complete. —Evening Sun. 



GREAT RAILWAY BRIDGE AND VIADUCT OVER THE WYE. 

The break that occurs at Chepstow in the railway communication 
on the South Wales line has been filled up by the completion of a 
great bridge in course of erection over the Wye ; and which bids fair 
to acquire a fame equal to that of the Britannia or Menai Bridge. 
The whole is made of wrought iron, and combines the principles 
of the suspension with those of the tubular bridges. Including 
the viaduct, the bridge is 623 feet in length ; the span or suspended 
part being 290 feet. There are two separate roadways, each being 
perfectly independent of the other, and their height is 70 feet over 
the river Wye at high water- mark, so that vessels can pass under. 
The roadways of the bridge are constructed of iron, put together in 
plates, and in form they are similar to the tubes forming the 
Conway and Britannia tubular bridges ; but, instead of being roofed 
in with cellular divisions of iron, there is for each roadway, and sus- 
pended above it, and at some distance, a strong cylinder of iron. 



40 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

It is suspended on piers, and from the extremities of this cylinder a 
looped chain runs under pins placed on each side of the roadway, in 
order to brace and support it. Likewise strong iron braces pass from 
the cylinder to each side of the tube, and from the top of each of these 
side supports to the bottom of the other, chains are placed for addi- 
tional strength. On the Chepstow side, the roadways rest on six 
upright iron cylinders, which have been filled with concrete, and 
driven firmly on a foundation of rock. The roadways on this side are 
continued in the form of a viaduct for about 300 feet more, resting 
upon these upright cylinders filled with concrete, and firmly im- 
bedded. On the east side, the roadways rest upon solid rock. — Times. 

FOUNDATIONS, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL. 

Mb. C. Clegg, jun., in a paper read to the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, states that all appliances, it is thought, will be replaced 
in a few years, either by Mitchell's Screw-Piles, or Potts' Pneumatic 
Cylinders, both of which have already been used with success on 
many large works. The former originated with the screw mooring, 
and has been successfully employed for the Fleetwood, the Belfast, 
the Maplin, and the Chapman Sand Lighthouses, and in several 
other places ; for a pier at Courtown, county Wexford, for the staging 
for the breakwater at Portland, for the foundation of many railway 
bridges and viaducts, and for many other important works. 

The latter was first applied to a bridge on the Chester and Holy- 
head Railway, in which the tubes were sunk by means of a double 
air-pump, the pile sinking as the exhausting process was continued ; 
nineteen tubes, each 12 inches in diameter, were thus put down, so 
that their heads were level, and to them a cast-iron plate was fixed, 
on which the pier was built. Experience has shown it to be advis- 
able to make the tubes of greater diameter, so that now they are used 
5 feet, and even 7 feet in diameter. In this case the simple exhaust- 
ing process is not sufficient, by itself, to overcome the friction of the 
sides ; another vessel has, therefore, been introduced between the 
tube and the air-pump, and this is first exhausted, and then a com- 
munication is opened between the tube and the exhausted vessel, 
when a double effect is produced, the excavating, or exhausting 
process as in the former instance, with the addition of a sudden blow 
on the head of the piles. A modification of this process has been 
adopted at Rochester Bridge, where the cylinders were used as 
diving-bells ; a plenum being established in them, so as to exclude 
the water, allowing the excavation to proceed within by manual 
labour. This is found to be preferable, as the cylinders will not 
descend in a stony bottom. 



NEW INVENTION IN BRIDGE-BUILDING-. 

Mr. Samuel Perks, of Emerson-street, Southwark-bridge, engineer, 
has registered his claims to a novelty in building Timber Bridges, 
Columns, Masts of Ships, &c, which consists essentially of a combi- 
nation of pieces irregularly crossing, overlapping, binding, and inter- 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 41 

weaving, whereby, when secured by bolts, screws, or nails, and ce- 
mented, and made impenetrative to wet, &c, by asphaltum, bitumen, 
or other convenient cementive material, solid beams of any length, 
say 1000 feet, may be made, by even unskilful hands, of far greater 
strength (according to his statement) than any single piece of beam- 
timber, and at far less expense of either time or money than so much 
brick or stone work. There are other modifications of the same 
principle claimed, such as the formation of masts and keels of ships, 
the masts being made of concentric pieces crossed and bound together 
to any requisite length and girth. 



HORSBURGH LIGHTHOUSE. 

The Singapore Free Press of the 3rd October announces the com- 
pletion of a Lighthouse on the Pedra Bronco Rock, at the entrance 
to the Straits of Singapore, which has been called the Horsburgh 
Lighthouse, in memory of the late distinguished hydrographer to the 
India House. For this, the first light in the China Seas, the mariner 
is indebted to the energy, ability, and zeal of Mr. J. T. Thomson, the 
Government Surveyor, who designed and executed the work. It is 
a tower 95 feet in height from high water level, and built of granite. 
The rock on which it is built is ten miles from land. The sea, how- 
ever, does not break heavily on the building. The lantern, dome, 
and lighting apparatus, which is on the holophotal system, invented 
by Mr. T. Stevenson, C. E., were made in Edinburgh by Messrs. Adie, 
optician, and Milne, brassfounder, in accordance with the design, 
and under the directions of Messrs. Stevenson, civil engineers. The 
workmen employed in its construction were from various countries, 
no fewer than eleven different languages being spoken — viz., three 
varieties of the Chinese, Malay, Javanese, Boyans, Kling, Bengalese, 
Papuas, Rawas, and English, so that many of the directions had to 
be given by signs. The whole of the lantern, machine, and delicate 
apparatus, sent from Edinburgh, has been successfully fitted up in 
their places by the natives. The total cost of this work was about 
£5400. The light was seen at the distance of fifteen miles, the 
curvature of the earth preventing its being farther visible. 



LIGHTHOUSES. 

Professor CowPERhas read to the Royal Institution a paper "On 
Lighthouses." — The difficulties so successfully surmounted in the 
construction of the Eddystone, the Bell-rock, and the Skerrevore 
lighthouses, and the philosophy of their brilliant light, renders them 
eminent objects of that scientific interest which belongs to all similar 
structures. The Eddystone lighthouse, having been built of wood in 
1698, was carried away five years after its erection. It was shortly 
afterwards reconstructed of the same material, the lower part being 
filled with stone or concrete; it then lasted for forty years, when it 
was consumed by fire. In 1759 Smeaton completed the present 
lighthouse, which is 68 feet high, and the base 26 feet in diameter 
(being barely less than the surface of the rock on which it stands). 



42 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

It is built of stone ; the stones are dovetailed together, and "joggled" 
as it is termed, so as to prevent the courses of stones from sliding on 
each other. It is situated in the midst of the sea, nine or ten miles 
distant from Plymouth. The Bell-rock lighthouse stands on a rock 
of the same name on the east coast of Scotland. It is surrounded by 
the sea, and is 100 feet high, and 42 feet in diameter at the base. 
It was built by Robert Stevenson, and finished in 1810. Its con- 
struction is similar to that of the Eddystone. The Skerrevore light- 
house was built by Alan Stevenson, son of the architect of the 
Bell-rock lighthouse. The mass of stone in this structure is 
more than double that used in the Bell-rock, and five times that 
contained in the Eddystone. The tower is 138 feet high, and the 
diameter at the base is 42 feet. It stands on a gneiss rock, the 
area of which is just large* enough for the foundation. In construct- 
ing this lighthouse, the architect appears to have chiefly relied on 
the weight, rather than on the extension of the materials, for efficient 
resistance to the impact of the waves. The stones were not dove- 
tailed, or joggled, but tree-nail3 were used merely to keep the work 
together during its erection. Several lighthouses have of late years 
been constructed of cast-iron. One designed by Mr. Alexander 
Gordon, and made by Messrs. Gottam and Hallen, has been erected 
at Bermuda; it is 130 feet high. Messrs. Walker and Burgess have 
recently constructed efficient lighthouses on iron piles, which are 
fixed in the sand by means of a screw, invented by Mitchel. The 
Maplin and Chapman lights, at the mouth of the Thames, and those 
at Fleetwood and Belfast, are on this principle. Professor Cowper 
invited attention to the mode in which these structures are rendered 
compact by means of cast-iron braces. 

The Sources of Light and mode of diffusing it were next adverted 
to. Common fires, first of wood, and then of coals, were originally 
used to furnish light. A coal fire was employed for this purpose in 
the Isle of Man for 180 years (as late as the year 1816). Tallow 
candles succeeded ; — candles fastened on wooden rods (as they are 
sometimes seen arranged before booths in fairs) were burnt in the 
Eddystone lighthouse for forty years after it was completed by 
Smeaton. Then came lamps with twisted-cotton wicks, and then 
common argand lamps : all these, however, are now superseded by 
(A) argand lamps and reflectors, — (B) one argand lamp, with lenses 
and reflectors, — and (C) one argand lamp, with lenses and reflecting 
prisms. Mr. Cowper illustrated the laws of reflection by several 
models, diagrams, and familiar examples. As instances of refraction, 
he alluded to the line of light produced on rippling water by the rays 
of the sun or moon ; each wave may (in common with every curved 
surface) be considered as a polygon having an infinite number of 
sides : there must therefore be some side in such a position as will 
reflect the light. The same effect was produced by a row of glass 
rods placed side by side. Reference was also made to a looking-glass 
casting the sunshine on the wall, — to reflectors placed at a window 
to exhibit objects in the street, — to the glow in the sky produced by 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 43 

a burning house ; this appearance being halfway between the spec- 
tator and the conflagration, occasions continual mistakes as to the 
ocality of the fire. 

A. Argand Lamps and Reflectors. — Having exemplified the prin- 
ciple upon which light is reflected, Mr. Cowper demonstrated, by 
means of a series of small mirrors, which were moveable on a fixed 
axis, that if a light were placed in the focus of a paraboloid, the rays 
would be reflected parallel. This is done in those lighthouses where 
reflectors are employed. The difficulty of shaping paraboloids was 
referred to, and it was mentioned that they were raised from a flat 
sheet of metal by the hammer. The arrangement of the.lamp and 
reflector was described ; and the halo-like diffusion of the light, con- 
sequent on the impossibility of concentrating the luminous point in 
the focus of the parabola, was noticed. In connexion with this part 
of his subject, Mr. Cowper dwelt on the distinction between & fixed 
and a revolving light. The former, being intended to be visible all 
round the horizon, requires more lamps than the latter ; when three 
rows of twelve lamps, each row being in contact, are arranged in a 
circular form, the three lamps which are in a vertical line imme- 
diately opposite to the spectator afford a strong light, while the three 
on either side are less distinctly seen, the parallel rays described not 
reaching his eye. With respect to the revolving lights, — supposing 
twenty-eight lamps arranged on the four sides of a parallel opipedon, 
then, as the figure revolves, each side will present seven lamps in 
succession. These, by shining at once, will produce a much stronger 
light than the fixed light. The duration of this effect will, however, 
be short, because, as each side is turned away from the spectator, 
the light will decrease rapidly ; this will be succeeded by darkness, 
and this darkness will in its turn be dispersed by a rapidly-increasing 
light. Mr. Cowper proceeded to state, that so satisfactory had been 
the result of metal reflectors in lighthouses, that there seemed small 
scope for improvement, until Fresuel devised the application of 
lenses, and also reflecting prisms in combination with lenses, to a 
single large lamp. To make this invention clearly understood, Mr. 
Cowper explained the general laws of the reflection of light, and 
illustrated his explanations by various diagrams and models. 

B. One Argand Lamp, Lenses, and Reflecting Mirrors. — Having 
shown that light on passing through a triangular prism of glass is 
refracted towards its base, Mr. Cowper applied this principle to the 
construction of a lens, which he derived from two long thin prisms 
placed base to base. He demonstrated that diverging rays of light, 
admitted on one side of such a solid, would issue parallel on the 
other side. There are great practical difficulties in fabricating a large 
glass lens. Condorcet and Brewster suggested, and Fresnel effected, 
the construction of a lens of separate prisms, all unnecessary glass 
being removed. Diagrams of such lenses were shown ; and it was 
stated that they were used with a single large lamp placed in the 
focus of the lens. In this position, however, as was shown, all the 



44 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

rays which passed above and beneath the lens might escape. To in- 
tercept the rays, Fresnel placed silvered glass mirrors at the proper 
angles. Fresnel also made a polygon of straight lenticular prisms, 
producing a long line of strong light : but the greatest improvement 
effected by this great philosopher was, the substitution of reflecting 
prisms for mirrors, thus introducing — 

C. Tlie Principle of Lighting by one Argand Lamp, Lenses, and 
Reflecting Prisms. — Mr. Cowper here demonstrated, by an apparatus 
contrived for the purpose, that when light is incident on the second 
surface of a prism, it may fall so obliquely that the surface cannot 
refract it, and that, therefore, this incident light is totally reflected 
from the second surface. Thus, if a ray enters the glass prism so 
as to make the angle of incidence greater than 41° 49' it is totally 
reflected. Mr. Cowper showed how this principle is applied in light- 
houses. He stated that the first light of this kind, on a large scale, 
was put up by Alan Stevenson at the Skerrevore ; and that, in 1843, 
Fresnel tried its illuminating powers against those of mirrors, and 
found the superiority to be in the proportion of 140 to 87. " On 
this subject," said Mr. Cowper, in conclusion, "one is struck with 
the intensity and exclusiveness of thought devoted to each part of 
the whole matter. The Admiralty intensely desire a lighthouse on a 
particular spot. The engineer is intensely occupied in surveying, 
levelling, and building; and, with a perseverance almost super- 
human, he continues his work during two or three years on the 
edge of a rock just showing itself above the waves. He makes a 
temporary barrack on wooden piles on some adjacent point. This 
is all swept away in one night. He builds it again, and is obliged to 
live in it for fourteen days together, the weather preventing all access 
to it. Presently, however, a tower 138 feet high stands securely 
fixed on the exact spot assigned to it. But the philosopher has also 
been at work, quietly but intensely considering the laws of reflection 
and refraction, and has contrived a glass prism of a new form, — 
without a thought of standing knee-deep in water 12 miles from 
land. The glass prisms and lamp are now mounted on the tower, 
and confided to the keepers. These men have no careless task. If 
they have many lamps, as in a revolving light, the going out of one 
is comparatively immaterial ; but when one light only is used, life 
and death hang on its burning. Their intensity of thought is to keep 
it lighted. In the ship that is approaching are two small instruments 
— the quadrant and the chronometer (the products of science) ; with 
these the captain will ascertain his position on the trackless ocean. 
He probably regards neither the construction of the lighthouse nor 
its beautiful light. His intense interest is to see it. He says, ' If I 
have calculated rightly by my instruments, and made allowance for 
the convexity of the earth, at such an hour the light will come into 
view.' Judge of his delight when it meets his eye! It is as if his 
country watched for his return, and welcomed him home." — Athe- 
nceum, No. 1220. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 45 

LIGHT FOR LIGHTHOUSES. 

Mr. Wilkins, of Long Acre, lias patented an invention for Light- 
ing, and an Apparatus for Lighthouses, Signal, Floating, and Harbour 
Lights. 

1. The invention consists of the application of cylindrical lenses 
or panels, and annular lenses or panels, to the rotating drum of 
lighthouses. This arrangement is intended to supersede the employ- 
ment of both fixed and rotating drums in the same lantern, as in the 
present arrangement for producing alternate glares and flashes. Mr. 
Wilkins employs one rotating drum only, which is composed of 
alternate panels of cylindrical lenses of the same description as 
the ordinary fixed drum, and annular lenses of a new construc- 
tion, consisting of a central lens surrounded by a number of rings, 
which aid in concentrating the light. The light, issuing through the 
cylindrical panels, extends over and includes a space of 45° (when 
eight panels are employed) ; and to the eye of an observer on a level 
with the lamp, this is succeeded by an interval of eclipse, until the 
rotation of the drum has brought round the annular lens, when a 
glare, extending over a space of 7h°, will he produced by the concen- 
tration of the rays of light in the annular lens. This will be followed 
by another eclipse, caused by the rings of the annular lens, after 
which the cylindrical lens will again come into operation. 

2. The application to the rotating drum of revolving lights of 
lenses, whereby the rays from the catadioptric parts are concentrated, 
so as to produce a glare or flash coincident with that caused by the 
annular lens. Also a method of supporting the drum on conical 
rollers and inclined surfaces, in. combination with adjusting- screws, 
for moving the rollers, and thereby raising or lowering the drum. 

3. An arrangement of revolving light, with a reciprocating 
motion. 

4. The application of lenses to floating lights, in lieu of the ordi- 
nary parabolic reflector 

5. The application of cylindrical lenses to ships' lanterns. 

6. A peculiar construction of candle and candle-holder for light- 
house purposes, in which the candle is made trilateral, and the 
holder provided with guide-rods, to maintain it in a perpendicular 
position. 

7. The application of a cylindrical lens, or lenses, to signal 
lanterns. 

8. The application of an annular lens to signal lights. 

FIRE-PROOF BANK, SAN FRANCISCO. 

We find in the San Francisco Herald a long account of Messrs. 
Adams's Fire-proof Banking-house, just erected, according to which, 
in the centre of the massive walls, and pervading them throughout 
their whole extent, is a vacant space 4 inches wide, communicating 
with the air through sieve-like apertures in the cellar and the para- 
pet. The floor of the basement and of the small yard in the rear is 
a solid coat of cement, several inches thick. Beneath the surface of 



46 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

the yard is a reservoir, containing several thousand gallons of water, 
from which a pipe leads under ground into the basement, where a 
force-pump is attached. A hose leads from thence up through all the 
floors to the roof, if necessary. By this arrangement, access to thewater 
may he secured inside without exposure to the heat, and every floor 
may be flooded in a few moments, if necessary. In a back corner of 
the room is the vault, and here all the resources of art have been ex- 
hausted to make assurance doubly sure. This vault rests upon a solid 
foundation of brickwork, extending below the floor of the cellar. The 
floor is a mosaic pavement, formed of diamond-shaped stones, alter- 
nately white and slate-coloured. On the roof, the point usually 
most exposed in case of fire, the utmost care has been bestowed to 
render it proof against the attacks of the most fierce heat. A para- 
pet wall, 2 feet thick and 6 feet high, extends around and above. 
The roof is first covered with zinc, soldered so as to be air-tight ; 
upon that rests a bed of cement 1 inch thick ; and upon that again 
is a pavement of fire-proof tiles, laid in cement and air-tight. The 
doors and windows are furnished at top and bottom with thick plates 
of cast iron, 1 yard wide, and imbedded in the masonry. The sides 
are double frames of iron, 2 feet apart, with brickwork intervening. 
The doors and shutters are double, with the same interval of 2 feet 
between. They are constructed of boiler iron an eighth of an inch 
thick, and braced in every direction with iron bars an inch thick. — 
Builder, No. 448. 



VENTILATION BY THE PARLOUR FIRE. 

Mr. Hosking, in a paper read at the Royal Institution, shows 
how the fire of an apartment may be made to fulfil all the conditions 
necessary to obtain in-door ventilation. A fire, he observes, in an 
ordinary grate, establishes a draught in the flue over it with power 
according to its own intensity ; and it acts with the same effect, at 
least, upon the air within its reach, for the means which enable it to 
establish and keep up the draught in the flue. The fire necessarily 
heats the grate in which it is kept up, and the materials of which 
grates are composed being necessarily incombustible, and being also 
recipients and conductors of heat, they will impart heat to whatever 
may be brought into contact with them. 

" It is supposed that the case containing the body of the grate is set on an iron 
or stone hearth in the chimney recess, free of the sides and back, except as to 
the joints in front. Let all communication between the chamber so formed 
about the back and sides of the grate and the chimney flue be shut off by an 
iron plate, open only for the register flap or valve over the fire itself. External 
air is to be admitted to the closed chambers thus obtained about the grate by a 
tube or channel leading through the nearest and most convenient outer wall of 
the building, and between the joists of the floor of the room, to and under the 
outer hearth or slab before the fire, and so to and under the back hearth in 
which sufficient holes may be made to allow the air entering by the tube or 
channel to rise into the chamber about the fire-box or grate. Openings taking 
any form that may be agreeable, are to be made through the cheeks of the 
grate into the air-chamber at the level of the hearth. In this manner will be 
provided a free inlet for the outer air to the fireplace and to the fire, and of the 
facility so provided the fire will readily avail itself to the abolition of all illicit 
draughts. 13ut the air in passing through the air-chamber in its way to the fire 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AETS. 47 

which draws it, is drawn over the heated surfaces of the grate, and it thus 
becomes warmed, and in that condition it readies the apartment. 

"An upright metal plate set up behind the openings through the cheeks of the 
grate, but clear of them, will bend the current of warmed air in its passage 
through the inlet holes, and thus compel the fire to allow what is not necessary 
to it to pass into the room ; and if the opening over the fire to the flue be 
reduced to the real want of the fire, the consumption of air by the fire will not 
be so great as may be supposed, and there will remain a supply of tempered air 
waiting only an inducement to enter for the use of the inmates of the apart- 
ment. An opening directly from the room into the flue upon which the fire is 
acting with a draught more or less strong, at a high level in the room, will 
afford this inducement ; it will allow the draught in the flue to act upon the 
heated and spent air under the ceiling, and draw it off; and in doing so will 
induce a flow of the fresh and tempered air from about the body of the grate 
into the room. 

" This mode of increasing the effect of a familiar fire, and making it subservient 
to the important function of free and wholesome ventilation, has been in 
effective operation for six or seven years, and is found to answer well with the 
simple appliances referred to. But it is the mode and the principle of action that 
it is desired to recommend, and not the appliances ; since persons more skilled in 
mechanical contrivances than the author professes to be, may probably be able 
to devise others better adapted to the purpose.* 

" Tiiis mode referred to, of warming and ventilating apartments by their own 
fires is most easy of application, and in houses of all kinds ; and as the warmth 
derived from the fire in any case, comes directly by the in-draughted air, as well 
as by radiation of heat into the air of the apartment, fuel is economized. 
If the register flap be made to open and shut, by any means which give easy 
command over it, so that it may be opened more or less according to the occa- 
sion, and this be attended to, the economy will be assured ; for it is quite 
unnecessary to leave the same space open over the fire after the steam and 
smoke arising from fresh fuel have been thrown oft', as may be necessary im- 
mediately after coaling. The opening by the register valve into the flue may be 
reduced when the smoke has been thrown oft 1 , so as to check the draught of air 
through the fire, and greatly to increase the draught by the upper opening into 
the flue, to the advantage of the ventilation and to the saving of fuel, while the 
heat from the incandescent fuel will be thereby rather increased than dimi- 
nished."! 



PEAT AND ITS PRODUCTS. 

Prof. Brande has read to the Royal Institution a paper on this 
inquiry. A peat bog was described as a superficial stratum of vege- 
table matter, which at diffei'ent depths is undergoing, or has under- 
gone, various stages of change and decomposition. Its superficial 
appearance is that of a mass of half-decayed mosses, rushes, heath, 
and grass ; the roots having successively died away, though the plants 
continued to vegetate. The mass is ligneous and imbued with humus 
and humic acid, among other products of slow decay ; and the 
abundance of moisture pervading the bog affects the character at 
once of the peat and of the district. The upper layers of the bog are 
usually loose and fibrous and of a pale brown colour. Beneath the 
surface the density is found to increase, sometimes to a great extent. 
At last, the distinct characters of the vegetables cease to be dis- 
cernible, and the mass appears nearly homogeneous and of a dark 
brown or blackish colour. Trunks of trees and some curious geo- 
logical phenomena occasionally present themselves. A peat district 

* The appliances used by Mr. ITosking will be found more fully described in 
his " Healthy Homes," published by Murray. 

t Mr. Hosking's paper is given entire in Jameson's Journal, No. 102. 



48 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

may be regarded therefore as the consolidated produce of enormous 
forests and fields of vegetation, amounting in the aggregate to millions 
of acres. In Ireland alone one-tenth of the surface is covered by peat 
bog, which if removed would exhibit a soil fit for the operations of 
agriculture. 

Prof. Brandethen invited attention to different samples of peat taken 
from the upper, middle, and lower, portions of the bog. He particu- 
larly noticed the tallow peat of the banks of Lough Neagh, which, 
from the brilliant flame attending its combustion, is sometimes used 
as a source of light as well as of heat. — Peat may be rendered valuable, 
either — 1. From the charcoal which may be obtained from it ; or — 
2. By various products derivable from what is called its destructive 
distillation. When it is desired to convert peat into charcoal, the plan 
adopted by the Irish Amelioration Society is to carbonize blocks of 
peat, partially dried on trays of wicker-work, in moveable pyramidal 
furnaces. The charcoal so obtained varies in character with that of 
the peat which produces it ; and when the peat is compressed previous 
to its carbonization, which may be well effected by means of a machine 
invented by Mr. Rogers, and which was explained by reference to a 
diagram, the resulting charcoal exceeds the density of common 
wood charcoal. In stove-drying, dense peat loses about one-third, 
and the light and porous, half of its weight: four tons of dried peat will 
give about one ton of charcoal. The efficacy of this charcoal in the 
manufacture of iron, in consequence of the small quantity of sulphur 
it contains, was mentioned ; and its deodorizing and purifying quali- 
ties experimentally exhibited. 2. The products of the destructive 
distillation of peat were then described. The elements of peat are 
essentially those of wood and coal; viz, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, 
and oxygen. If therefore peat were distilled in close vessels, the 
products obtained would, as might be expected, resemble the products 
of a similar operation on coal or wood. Hitherto, however, the ex- 
pense of such a process in the case of peat has precluded its general 
adoption. Mr. Iteece, however, has employed for this purpose a blast- 
furnace, which differs in principle from that in which iron is melted, 
by having an arrangement to collect the products of combustion ; and 
he has thus succeeded in obtaining ammonia, acetic acid, pyroxylic 
spirit, tar, naphtha, oils, and paraffine, together with large quantities 
of inflammable gases, from the peat. 

In conclusion, Prof. Brande reviewed the various products of peat 
and their uses. They appear to be — I. Sulphate of ammonia. This 
substance is employed in preparation of carbonate and mui-iate ot 
ammonia, of caustic ammonia, and in the manufacture of manures and 
fertilizing composts. 2. Acetate of lime, which is in constant demand 
as a source of acetic acid, and of various acetates largely consumed 
by calico printers. 3. Pyroxylic spirit (or wood-alcohol), used in vapour 
lamps (two of which were exhibited and attention called- to the 
brilliancy of the light afforded), and in the preparation of varnishes. 

4. Naphtha, used for making varnishes, and for dissolving caoutchouc. 

5. Heavy and more fixed oils, applicable for lubricating machinery, 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 49 

especially when blended with other unctuous substances; or as a cheap 
lamp oil, and as 'a source of lamp black. — 6. Paraffine. This when 
fixed with fatty matter forms a material for candles, samples of which 
were shown, consisting of a mixture of paraffine, sperm, and stearine. 
— Athenaeum, No. 1217. 

THE COTTAGER'S STOVE. 

This stove has been described to the Society of Arts by Mr. J. 
Grant. It is designed solely for the benefit of the working classes, 
from a conviction that a simple and efficient cooking stove, combined 
with comfort and economy, was much wanted by them. It is arranged 
for either a close or an open fire, and the fire-pots are adapted to 
every description of fuel ; the consumption of which is about 1 lb. of 
coal or coke per hour in the circular fire-pot (which is the most 
economical form), and the open fire-pot consumes nearly l^lb. per 
hour. The square fire-pot, for wood or turf, makes a most cheerful 
fire, and is admirably adapted for emigrants and countries where 
coal is not to be procured ; for, as this stove requires no fixing, it will 
cook well in any situation with a good draught, whether placed in a 
room or on the mountain side. 

It has been stated that it will cook sufficient for a family of a dozen 
persons, with a consumption of 1 lb. of coal or coke per hour ; but I 
nave no hesitation in stating that it is capable of roasting, baking, 
boiling, and steaming 200 lbs. of meat and 100 lbs. of potatoes, with a 
consumption of 15 lbs. of coal, at a cost of twopence. 

In this respect, it forms a strong contrast to the ordinary kitchen 
ranges, with their wasteful consumption of fuel, sending the greater 
part of the heat up the chimney. If the principles of this stove were 
carried out upon an extended scale, it is conceived that it might be 
found efficient for club-houses, hotels, and other large establish- 
ments. 

The stove has been presented by its inventor to " The Metropolitan 
Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes." 

It is manufactured by Messrs. Bailey, of Holborn, and Messrs. 
Benham, of Wigmore Street. 

This stove will cook 228 lbs. of meat and 126 lbs. of potatoes, with 
a consumption of 15 lbs. of coal, at a cost of twopence, as follows : 

In the Oven— A leg of mutton of 8 lbs., and 6 lbs. of potatoes, in 2 hours. Equal 

to 48 lbs. of mutton, and 36 lbs. of potatoes in 12 hours. 
On the Top. — Three saucepans and steamers, each containing 8 lbs. of beef and 
5 lbs. of potatoes, dressed in 2 hours. Equal to 1441bs. of beef and 90 lbs. 
of potatoes in 12 hours. 
At the Fire. — Broiled 3 lbs. of steaks or chops per hour. Equal to 36 lbs. for 
12 hours. 

Total. — 48 lbs. of baked mutton, and 36 lbs. of potatoes. 
144 „ boiled beef „ 90 ditto. 
36 „ chops and steaks. 

228 lbs. meat. 126 lbs. vegetables. 



POCKET STOVE. 

This stove, invented by Mr. Rigby, is constructed in the form of 
E 



50 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

a castle, such as is used in the game of chess, on an enlarged scale; 
the lower part containing an argand burner, regulated as to intensity 
or extinguished by the turn of a screw, and the upper part or boiler, 
containing spirits of wine, the vapour from which in an incredibly 
short period boils a quart of water, or cooks a fowl or steak to the 
greatest nicety. 

ILLUMINATING GAS STOVE. 

The idea of the Atmopyre, * appears to have been followed out at 
Scarborough, in a design, by Mr. G. Knowles, of a Gas Apparatus, 
for the simultaneous supply of light and heat. In form, his invention 
resembles the cylindrical-shaped stoves in ordinary use. The burners 
are placed between two cylinders, the outer one of glass and the inner 
one of glass or polished metal, acting as a reflector. The heat pro- 
duced is sufficient, it is said, for all ordinary purposes, and is tem- 
pered and the air purified through a water cylinder, so as to be 
comparatively innocuous and agreeable when respired. The expense 
of combustion is stated to be 3d in twelve hours (gas at Qs. 8ol. per 
1000 feet). The design has been registered. 



STIRLING'S PATENT IMPROVEMENTS IN IRON. 

The report of the Government Commissioners on the application of 
iron to railway purposes, and the extracts from it which have 
appeared in this and other journals, have made workers in iron of all 
classes familiar with the great improvements effected by Mr. Morries 
Stirling in the manufacture of iron, and led to their extensive 
adoption. These improvements it may be remembered relate to both 
cast and wrought iron. In the former case a mixture of cast and 
wrought iron in certain proportions, which has the effect of giving a 
fibrous nature to the cast metal, and thereby greatly increasing its 
strength and tenacity; for all kinds of beams, girders, and other 
castings, where strength is required, its use is found very advan- 
tageous and economical. Beams cast- of the toughened iron may be 
made of less dimensions, and, consequently, of less weight than if cast 
of common metal, to support the same load; and they have the 
advantage of deflecting to a greater extent than common iron, and, 
therefore, are not so liable to sudden failure. 

At page 101 of the Commissioners' Report, an abstract is given of 
a series of trials, from which it will be seen that Mr. Stirling's iron is 
nearly 50 per cent, superior to sixteen other sorts of iron experi- 
mented upon. Various other experiments have been made by Mr. 
Owen for the Admiralty, and by Messrs. Rennie, and others, all with 
the same results, showing the great increase of strength obtained 
from the patent iron. The economy of its use is apparent ; for 
instance, — common Scotch pig toughened can be had now for about 
21. 10.s. per ton ; and this is at least 50 per cent, stronger than the 
best Blaenavon, which costs three guineas per ton. 

* Described in the Tear-book of Facts, 1861. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 51 

The improvements in the manufacture of wrought iron are : — first, 
the admixture of a certain alloy in the puddling furnace, by which all 
malleable iron is rendered much more fibrous and stronger than 
common wrought iron ; so much so, that common or merchant bar 
becomes equal to best bar, thus saving one process to the manufac- 
turer. Also very ordinary iron, which can scarcely be used at all, is 
made equal to the best. The following abstracts of experiments are 
given in the lleport of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the 
application of iron to railway purposes, page 417 : — 

Breaking Strain 
in Tons per 
square inch. 
Average of Mr. Jesse Hartley's Experiments at Liverpool on 

many sorts of malleable iron 2323 

Average of S. C. Crown Iron from numerous trials at Woolwich 

Dockyard 24-47 

Average of best Dundyvan Bar 24-33 

Average of Mr. Stirling's best quality 27-81 

Average of Mr. Stirling's, another quality 27-70 

The cost of the process is only a few shillings per ton. When Mr. 
Stirling's toughened pig is used in the puddling furnace instead of 
common pig, and the alloy added, an iron is produced of a very 
superior quality, of a very fibrous nature, and much finer in the fibre 
than the iron mentioned above ; this will be found very advantageous 
in the manufacture of thin plates and sheets. 

Second. The admixture of a different alloy in the puddling fur- 
nace, whereby a quality of iron is produced quite opposite in its 
character to the last ; instead of being fibrous, it becomes hard and 
crystalline — approaching to the nature of steel. The average stretch 
of common round bars one inch diameter, is about three inches per 
foot; whereas the average of Mr. Stirling's hardened iron is from 
one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch per foot. This shows the great 
stiffness obtained by his method. The crystalline nature of this 
description of iron causes it to resist compression, lamination, and 
abrasion. Thus, for the top portions of wrought-iron girders, it is 
precisely what is required to resist the compression force, — the 
fibrous iron being used for the bottom portion to resist the tension. 
For rails and tyres for wheels this sort of iron is peculiarly adapted ; 
the top of the rails and the outside of the tyres, being made with it, 
will resist the wear and tear and lamination so universally com- 
plained of; and rails made of the patent iron are found to answer 
remarkably well. They have been used on the East Lancashire, 
Caledonian, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and other railways, with great 
success. The extra cost of rails made of this iron being only from 
7s. 6d, to 10s. per ton. 



THE HAMMER SUPERSEDED IN BLOOMING IRON. 

A working model of a New Machine for Blooming Iron has been 
exhibited to the Birmingham Institution of Engineers, with a sec- 
tional model in wood, which very clearly elucidated its action. The 
working portion of the machine consists of three eccentric, cuspi- 

E 2 



52 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

dated, semi-lunar shaped cams, working simultaneously, and all kept 
rotating in one direction by wheels and pinions firmly connected 
together in a strong frame, and set in motion by a steam-engine. 
The convex sides of these semi-cylindrical cams are deeply grooved 
and serrated, and their peculiar form is such, that on dropping a 
bloom of iron into the concavity of the upper cam, as it presents 
itself, it is immediately drawn into the vortex, or centre of motion, of 
the three cams, at the instant when that opening is the largest. As 
they rotate, the convexities, in consequence of the eccentricity of the 
centres, approach nearer and nearer — the ridges and rough surfaces 
squeezing, rolling, and kneading the iron in all directions, like 
squeezing a sponge in the hand. The cinders and impurities are thus 
ejected, and fall out beneath the machine; and the cams, in the 
latter part of their rotation, having closed the space between them 
to the smallest dimensions in the revolution, the bloom is elongated 
and ejected in the form of an iron cylinder. The paper stated, that 
the machine was the invention of Mr. Jeremiah Brown, late of the 
Oak Farm Iron "Works, and that its use was calculated to form a new 
era in the iron trade. For the production of superior iron, it had 
hitherto been considered that the hammer was indispensable; but for 
all purposes of efficiency, rapidity of action, and economy, this ma- 
chine, it was assumed, would come into general use. From its 
strength and simplicity, it would not cost in repairs 201. a-year; 
while a hammer involved expenses often times that amount, and the 
cost of replacing a broken hammer was well known in the iron trade 
to be a serious item. It turned out a finished bloom, entirely free 
from cinder, in twelve seconds, the engine working moderately; 
while under the hammer it could not be completed under eighty 
seconds. Thus, by the machine, the cylindrical bloom, when ejected, 
was still at welding heat, and could be at once passed through the 
rolls, while from the hammer it had again to pass through the 
furnace. 

In the discussion which followed the reading of the paper, its 
author, Mr. Beazley, of Smethwick, stated that, from some compara- 
tive experiments he had made, as to the strength of the same iron 
finished by hammer and by the machine, he considered the quality 
about equal ; on different-sized bars, in some cases they were a trifle 
in favour of the hammer, and in others of the machine ; but he con- 
sidered the economy highly important. In labour there was a saving 
of Is. dd. per ton ; in tools of Is. per ton ; and the saving in time 
was equally worthy of consideration. That a more perfect ejection 
of the cinder was effected by the machine than by the hammer, was 
clear from the fact, that the same quantity of iron weighed less after 
passing the former than from the operation of the latter ; and Mr. 
Beazley said that he had taken two blooms direct from the machine 
successively, passed them together through the rolls ; and the result 
was a perfectly welded joint. Mr. Siemens, Mr. Slate, and Professor 
Hodgkinson, also bore testimony to the efficiency of the machine. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 53 

IRON PAVEMENT. 

An experiment with Pavement of Iron has been made with success, 
at Glasgow, under a new patent, by Mr. Allan, of Spring Bank Iron- 
works ; and a report has been made favourable to its adoption in the 
place of granite pavement, on the score of first cost at least, and of 
adaptation to its purposes, if not also of durability, which has not 
yet been sufficiently tested. It is grooved in zigzags, and thus 
prevents the horses' feet from slipping. As it must wear much faster, 
however, than those slipping traps in sloppy weather or in frost — the 
iron shot-hole covers to coal-cellars on our metropolitan pavements, — 
and as it must inevitably require replacement so soon as the grooves 
are nearly obliterated, which they so often are in the instance just 
adduced, the question of relative cost remains to be settled by the 
horses' shoe irons. The plates are rebatted on the edges, and 
mutually support each other, and the joints are so close that no 
oozing of dust or mud appears. The substratum is of lime and sand. 
The noise is said to be much less than on granite, and the footing 
more secure. 



THE GREAT WIRE CABLE FOR THE SUBMARINE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH 
BETWEEN DOVER AND CALAIS. 

The manufacture of the great Submarine Telegraph Rope, or Cable, 
by means of which England and France possess instant intercom- 
munication, affords another instance, among many of the present 
day, in which the rapidity of execution borders on the marvellous; 
for, though the telegraph-rope be not less than twenty-four miles in 
length, it was completed in the short space of three weeks. No 
manual labour could effect such an undertaking scarcely in as many 
years ; and any one who has had the opportunity of examining the 
machines employed, will find how much is due to the intelligence and 
exertions of George Fenwick, an engineer of the Seaham Harbour 
Iron-works, in Durham. The great machine was invented and con- 
structed by him in ten days ; but this is less wonderful than is its 
originality, its beautiful simplicity, and the clock-like precision of its 
working. The object for whch it has been made is to obviate, as far 
as possible, any danger to the copper ; and it certainly has produced 
a covering for the little news-transmitting wires, tending very strongly 
to baffle any attempts of wondering fishermen to cut it through, such 
as was the fate of the last telegraph between England and France. 
This, it will be recollected, was simply a copper wire, enclosed in a » 
covering of gutta percha, and its fate wa3 soon sealed. 

At the suggestion of Mr. Wollaston (of the firm of Crampton and 
Wollaston, engineers to the company), the Gutta Percha Company, 
at their works, enclosed four wires, in all ninety-six miles in length, 
in a double casing of gutta percha. These then, by means of a 
machine, were bound round in yarn steeped in a solution of tar, 
tallow, &c, which form the centre, or heart, of the rope. In this 
state it is sent through the iron tube of the great machine, which is 



54 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

surrounded by bobbins, whereon is wound as evenly as possible the 
iron wire which is to form the outer covering. 

The winding of this wire required great care to ensure its regularity 
when being transmitted from the bobbins through the laying (per- 
forated) plate seen at the top of the tube, as it is in order to obtain 
a firm and even coil over the heart, or centre, that this machine has 
been invented. If, in the course of twisting, any of these iron wires 
snap, it is immediately welded together, then immersed in a zinc bath 
to prevent rust, and the process is again continued. After being thus 
cased in twisted iron wires, it passes over the centre sheave (a wheel 
on the second story of the works), thence over a whelp- wheel, and is 
conveyed out of the door to the coil in the yard. 

The steam-engine by which this machine is worked makes sixty 
revolutions per minute, driving the machine at the rate of eighteen 
revolutions per minute, and drawing off eleven inches of rope in one 
revolution. 

The rope has been made by Messrs. Newall and Co., at the works 
of Mr. E. Weatherley, 39, High-street, Wapping. 

To recapitulate, the rope is twenty-four miles long, and consists of 
copper wires, through which the electric currents will pass, insulated 
by coverings of gutta percha : these are formed into a strand, and 
served or bound round with spun yarn, forming a core or centre, 
round which are laid ten iron galvanised wires of 5-16ths of an inch 
diameter, each welded into one length of twenty-four and a half 
miles, and weighing about fifteen tons. 

The rope weighs altogether about 180 tons ; it formed a coil of 
thirty feet diameter outside, fifteen feet inside, and five feet high, 
and was made in twenty days. — Illustrated London News, No. 519. 

SISCO'S IMPROVEMENT IN CHAIN-MAKING. 

Experiments have been made at Woolwich dockyard to test a new 
description of chain cable, the invention of a French gentleman, 
Mons. Sisco, for ascertaining their quality and value as compared 
with the chains now in use in the Royal Navy. The new chains are 
made of common hoop-iron of the breadth required, and wound on a 
reel by machinery into an oval shape and to the same breadth as 
the outer surface, which is rounded off after the whole has been 
brazed in passing through a furnace of molten metal. The usual 
test of an iron chain for naval service of two inches in diameter i3 
seventy-two tons strain, but many links break with the application of 
far less power, and yet the other parts of the chain are found qualified 
to pass the required ordeal. M. Sisco's chain of two inches broad and 
two inches thick, with stays in the centre of each of the two links, 
was placed in the testing frame, attached to a testing-chain of 2^ 
inches in diameter, and on the hydraulic power being applied one of 
the links was lengthened five-eighths of an incli and the other one- 
eighth of an inch when it reached a strain of 110 tons, and the 2£ inch 
testing-chain broke off in two places when the strain reached 114 
tons. The hoop-iron chain had some openings in one of the links , 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ALTS. 55 

which had been imperfectly brazed, but it did not appear to have 
been made otherwise defective. One link of the same dimensions, 
two inches thick and two inches broad, was afterwards placed in the 
testing-frame, and when a strain of 70 tons was applied it had 
lengthened one-twelfth of an inch ; with 80 tons, one-eighth of an 
inch ; with 100 tons, three-sixteenths ; with 110 tons, one-fourth of an 
inch; with 115 tons, five-sixteenths ; and when it resisted 120 tons 
strain it was considered advisable not to continue the strain, as it 
was so great as to loosen the stone frame on which the machine rested, 
and liable to damage other parts of the powerful iron-frame of the 
machine. The strain applied on this occasion was one ton more than 
had ever been previously applied, and the hoop-chain was only slightly 
opened on one side. When inquiries were made as to the price at 
which the hoop-chains could be supplied, it was stated they would 
not cost more per cwt. than the common chains, although their 
holding powers were so much greater in proportion. — Mechanics' 
Magazine, No. 1470. 

IMPROVEMENT IN SAW-MILLS. BY LEMUEL HEDGE. 

The nature of this invention consists in so arranging and combining 
the machinery as to prevent the necessity of straightening and 
straining longitudinally any other part of the saw, except that 
portion of it which is at the time at work. 

The invention claimed, is the driving belt-saws by the friction 
surface of two cylindrical pulleys or drums, which gripe the saw- 
plate below the wood which is being cut, but at some part of its 
tangent line, so that the strain to which it must be subjected in 
cutting, to keep it in the line of the tangent, shall not be at any part 
of its curved path ; but this is only claimed in combination with 
straining-rollers, which gripe the saw above the lumber on which it 
acts ; the said rollers being controlled by a brake or the equivalent 
thereof, substantially as described, whereby the saw during its action 
is kept in a strained condition along its entire line of action, that it 
may cut in a straight line, and to avoid its being under tension where 
the flexions take place along the curved portions of its track, as 
specified. 

The patentee also claims, in combination with the mode of driving 
a belt-saw by means of cylindrical rollers or pulleys, the employment 
of a belt passing around the outer one of the said driving rollers, 
and applied to the outer surface of the saw, when it passes around 
the lower deflecting or guide pulley, substantially as herein described, 
by means of which the saw is bent by the pressure of the belt applied 
to its outer surface, instead of being communicated through the 
metal itself — thu3 avoiding, in a great measure, the -tendency to 
break the metal. 

And, finally, claimed in combination with the mode of driving a belt- 
saw, the employment of fenders or scrapers interposed between the 
driving rollers and the wood to be sawed, and placed each side of the 
saw, as described, to catch the sawdust, and conducting it away from 



56 YEAR- BOOK OF FACTS. 

the bight of the driving rollers or the saw, and thus avoid clogging 
— Franklin Journal. 



CLEANSING OF METAL CASTINGS. 

In the old process of cleansing of metal castings, by water contain- 
ing sulphuric or hydrochloric acid, the coating is more or less per- 
fectly removed, but the surfaces are left rough and unequal. Messrs. 
Thomas and Delisse found that the coating was removed from cast 
surfaces with great certainty, when, to water acidulated with sul- 
phuric acid, organic matter, such as glycerine, artificial tannin, 
naphthaline, creosote, or stearine was added. This acid liquor does 
not dissolve the coating, but detaches it, and causes it to scale off, 
leaving untouched the metal below. By this process, which is pecu- 
liarly applicable to the cleansing of zinc and brass, sixty per cent, of 
acid is saved, and not half as much metal lost as in the old process. 
But the organic substances mentioned above being difficult to pro- 
cure in many instances, M. Eisner applied himself to discover some 
cheaper and more easily procurable organic matter which would 
answer as well, and he has found that both wood and coal-tar answer 
perfectly well. A piece of iron casting was immersed in a mixture 
of tar and dilute acid, and was completely cleansed, without any 
disengagement of hydrogen gas, the surface being left of a clear, 
grayish-black colour, quite clean and smooth, and totally unattacked 
by the acid. A similar casting immersed in the solution ordinarily 
used in this process was almost wholly dissolved in an equal time. — 
Technologists 



MANUFACTURE OF STEEL. 

*H. M. Ommaney, of Chester, patented improvements in the Manu- 
facture of Steel. The process of deoxidation is conducted by submit- 
ting the ores to different temperatures in a reverberatory furnace, 
with hopper, &c, at three successive heatings : as the first charge is 
removed from the point at which it is introduced, another charge 
occupies its place, which is followed by a third, and so on. In this 
manner, the furnace is kept fully charged during the whole time of 
operation. The cakes, plates, or bars produced, after puddling, are 
cut up, and converted, and may be charged at once with the requi- 
site degree of carbonisation for steel, of any temper, " by adding at 
once, in the shape of charcoal, in the crucible, or melting operation," 
The patentee does not claim the exclusive use of the furnace described, 
except when employed as above mentioned ; but claims, as the 
improvement in the manufacture of steel, — ores, and other oxides of 
iron, deoxidised at successive temperatures, as described. — Builder, 
No. 440. • 



PRINTING ON METAL. 

Mr. Thomas Skinner, the inventor of the new process of Etching 
upon Steel, Ivory, &c, now so much in vogue for the decoration of 
cutlery, has made a new and scarcely less important discovery which 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 57 

bids fair to prove incalculably valuable to a leading branch of the 
Sheffield trade — the manufacture in silver, Britannia metal, and 
other materials of that description. Mr. Skinner describes his new 
art as "afac-simile of chasing and engraving on metal by means of 
printing;" and it is stated that "the extreme cheapness of this pro- 
cess renders it very suitable for general application to all metals. 
This is the only specimen in existence." The specimen in question 
is an electro-plated waiter, got up simply with the view of illustrating 
the new principle. The centre is a fac-simile of an engraved metallic 
plate, from which any required numbers of copies may be taken 
without again resorting to the graver, and the original plate may be 
finally made into a perfect article. — Sheffield Times. 

SERVICE OF CALIFORNIAN GOLD PLATE. 

A splendid American service of gold-plate was shown in the Great 
Exhibition, the workmanship of whieh reflects much credit on the 
taste and skill of the designer and manufacturer. Many persons 
have remarked the peculiar whitish colour of this service of plate 
made from Californian gold, as very different from the colour of gold 
articles of English manufacture, and somewhat resembling the old 
guineas. It was stated in the notice attached to the service, 
that it was made of virgin gold, without any alloy, that is, without 
the admixture of the small proportion of copper, usually added to the 
metal of which coin and gold-plate are manufactured, for the purpose 
of communicating additional hardness and durability. It is not, how- 
ever, to the omission of copper, that this peculiar tint must be attri- 
buted, but to the presence of a considerable amount of silver. At 
one of his recent lectures at King's College, Professor Tennant exhi- 
bited a large piece of Californian gold, weighing 31bs. l^oz. This 
piece he submitted to the searching ordeal of the crucible, when it 
yielded lib. 2oz. of quartz, If lb. of pure gold, and 4|oz. of silver, 
equal to about 20 per cent, on the amount of gold. It is a singular 
fact, that the purest gold is found in small pieces, whilst the large 
lumps of gold mineral always contain silver. The reason of this is 
not known, but the fact is undoubted. — Patent Journal, No. 283. 



THE TENNESSEE REPEATING-RIFLE. 

This new Rifle is the invention of a Kentuckian, Mr. R. "W. 
Porter, of Memphis. By merely pulling the trigger, the rifle is 
loaded and discharged ; and as there is a magazine of powder, balls, 
and caps attached, from which the rifle is supplied, the only limit to 
the number of successive discharges is the size of the magazine. The 
rifle can therefore be loaded and fired from one to a thousand times 
in succession, or more ; and this as rapidly as the trigger can be 
pulled, which is ordinarily about forty times in a minute. There 
are other qualities in regard to this invention that are highly spoken 
of, and indicate, that, aside from its wonderful execution, it is safer 
and better to handle than the common rifle. 



58 YExVE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

AMERICAN SELF-PRIMING GUN. 

A Self- Priming Musket, invented by Dr. Maynard, of Philadelphia, 
promises to effect as great a revolution in priming fire-arms, as 
" Colt's Revolver" in loading and firing. The fulminating powder, 
instead of being inserted into copper-caps, is made up in small flat- 
tened pellets, and inclosed between two strips of paper pasted toge- 
ther ; each detonating pellet being separated from the other by about 
the eighth of an inch. These detonators in their paper-sheaths 
resemble in form an elongated flattened seed-pod, a quarter of an 
inch broad. The strip is coiled up and placed in a small circular 
chamber in front of the lock, where it is kept ready for use. One 
end of the strip passes between a spring, and as the lock is put on 
full cock, the spring is partially released, and one of the detonating 
pods is protruded on to the nipple of the gun. When the trigger is 
pulled, and the lock descends, a sharp edge cuts off the pod from the 
continuous strip the instant before explosion, so as to insulate the 
detonating primings in the chamber from the fire. — Patent Journal. 



colt's revolvers. 

A paper has been read to the Institution of Civil Engineers, * ' On 
the Application of Machinery to the Manufacture of Rotating Cham- 
bered-Breeched Fire- Arms, and the Peculiarities of those Arms," by 
Colonel Samuel Colt, U.S., America. 

The communication commenced with an historical account of such 
rotating chamber fire-arms as had been discovered by the author in 
his researches after specimens of the early efforts of armourers for the 
construction of repeating weapons, the necessity for which appears 
to have been long ago admitted. 

The author, entirely unaware of any previous attempts to produce 
such weapons, made a series of experiments on skeleton fire-arms, 
which were very successful ; but subsequently he fell into many of 
the errors of his predecessors, for, by covering the breach and the 
mouths of the chambers, simultaneous explosion of several charges 
constantly occurred. This induced the restoration of the arms nearly 
to their original skeleton form, and the result was the production of 
the present perfect arm, which has been so universally adopted in 
America that the author's large manufactory has proved quite in- 
sufficient to supply the demand. 

The means for manufacturing these arms on so large a scale was 
the main point of the paper; for, unlike the system adopted in 
England and on the Continent, of making fire-arms almost entirely 
by manual labour, the several parts comprising these weapons are 
forged, planed, shaped, slotted, drilled, tapped, bored, rifled, and 
even engraved by machinery to such an extent that 10 per cent, 
only of the value of the arm was for hand labour in finishing and 
ornamenting ; 90 per cent, being executed by automaton machines 
guided by women and children, whose labour was represented by 10 
per cent., leaving 80 per cent, for the machinery. 

The action of these machines was described, and it appeared that, 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 59 

though, like a cotton or flax mill, the manufactory at first sight 
appeared intricate, yet that each part travelled independently through 
its course until at length the finishing workman had only to put the 
several parts together, almost indiscriminately, and the uniformity, 
was so precise that little or no fitting was required beyond removing 
the "burr," or rough edge left by the machines. This was a point 
of great importance, especially in a country of such extent as America, 
where the necessity for sending arms from one district to another for 
repair might be attended with serious consequences. 

The arms now manufactured by the author, and of which numerous 
specimens were exhibited, were of the simplest construction ; the 
lock consisted of only five working parts, contained in a lock-frame 
cut out from the solid metal, into which the breech arbor was firmly 
inserted, and by it rigidly attached to the barrel in such a manner as 
to regulate, with the greatest precision, the contact between the end 
of the barrel and the mouths of the cylinders, so as to prevent any 
serious escape of lateral fire. 

The rotating of the cylinder was accomplished by a self-acting 
lever, to which motion was given by the act of drawing back the 
hammer ; at half-cock the cylinder was free to rotate in one direction, 
for the purpose of loading and putting the caps on the nipples, the 
former operation being rapidly accomplished by the conversion of 
the ramrod into a jointed lever, attached to the barrel, by which 
means the bullets were rammed home so securely that no patch or 
wadding was required. The grooves in the barrel were of a peculiar 
spiral, commencing almost straight, near the breech end, and termi- 
nating at the muzzle in a curve of small radius. The bullets were 
either of cylindrical or conical shape, and from some diagrams of 
several practice targets sent from Woolwich, by Colonel Chalmers, 
R.A., for exhibition at the meeting, it appeared that even by men 
unaccustomed to the use of this particular arm, great precision of 
firing could be attained, as with a small revolving belt pistol, at a 
distance of fifty yards, out of 48 shots 25 bullets took effect within a 
space of one foot square, and of them thirteen hit the bull's eye, 
which was only six inches in diameter, the whole number of shots 
striking the target. 

PIVOTS OP ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTS. 

Mr. May has communicated to the British Association, a paper 
u On the Application of Chilled Cast-iron to the Pivots of Astrono- 
mical Instruments." " It has long been known that if a mould for 
casting iron in, be made of iron, or partly of iron and partly of sand, 
that portion of the casting which has run against the iron becomes 
what is technically termed "chilled," and is indicated by a white 
crystalline structure to a depth depending upon various conditions of 
temperature of the mould, and the metal run into it, as well as of 
the chemical composition of the iron. The practical utility of chill 
casting depends on the fact that the part thus rendered crystalline is 
of extreme hardness, nearly equal to that of hardened steel, whilst 



60 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

the remainder of the casting may be as soft as iron cast in the ordi- 
nary sand moulds. The rationale of the effect thus produced is not 
well understood : cast-iron is a compound of iron with variable pro- 
■ portions of carbon, and these proportions have not, as I believe, been 
yet reduced to anything like atomic order : some statements give as 
much as 15 per cent, of carbon in very soft pig-iron, and such iron 
exhibits very little or no tendency to chilling. Practical experience 
is at present the only guide to the production of the desired effect; 
in some cases a very thin hard stratum is desired — in others, a con- 
siderable depth ; and this stratum may Ce varied from an almost 
imperceptible white line to half or three-quarters of an inch in depth: 
this latter being required in the larger rolls for making the finest thin 
sheet-iron. Chemically speaking, cast-iron and steel are of the same 
composition ; viz., iron with a proportion of carbon : the proportion 
of the latter in cast-iron being infinitely greater than in steel. Here 
I would point out a remarkable difference between chilled cast-iron 
and steel. If the latter is heated red-hot, and plunged into cold 
water, it becomes extremely hard ; if, in this state, it be again heated, 
it resumes its original softness : but if chilled-iron be so treated, it 
still retains its hardness. Whether this is caused by mere mecha- 
nical arrangement, or by the chemical combination of the atoms — 
whether there be a metallic base of carbon in one case and not in the 
other, or by whatever these differences are caused, is far too little 
understood. The whole subject is one deserving the close attention 
of those whose pursuits enable them to study chemical analysis. 
Indeed, when we reflect on the fact, that without the peculiar pro- 
perties of iron and carbon, civilization could not have been carried 
on, it does appear strange that the master-minds of the age have not 
acquired more knowledge of the relative action and combination of 
these two substances. It would be foreign to our present object to 
enter upon the mode of manufacturing steel ; but I may state the 
fact, that it is extremely difficult to procure any masses that are of 
uniform density, whilst chill cast-iron is easily produced with large 
homogeneous surfaces ; and this brings me to the main subject pro- 
posed for your attention, viz., the application of it to the pivots of 
astronomical instruments. About four years since, the Astronomer- 
Royal applied to my partners and self respecting the construction of 
the mechanical parts of a new meridional instrument, the size of 
which so greatly exceeded anything of the same kind, that it became 
a serious question of what material the pivots should be made ; it was 
requisite that it should be both hard to resist wear as much as pos- 
sible, and homogeneous to insure that whatever wear took place 
should be uniform. The extensive use we make of chill cast-iron 
suggested, that if the pivots were so cast with the body of the axis in 
sand moulds, and all run together, an instrument might be produced 
combining all the requisite qualifications. This has been successfully 
accomplished, and the great transit-circle or meridian-instrument is 
now at work in the Royal Observatory to the satisfaction ? of the 
Astronomer-Royal — on whose designs the whole has been con- 






MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 61 ' 

structed." A full-sized model of the telescope was in the room, by 
which it was shown that the pivots are 6 inches in diameter, and the 
axis about 6 feet in length. The object-glass is 8 inches aperture, 
and about 11 feet focal length ; and after a rigid examination of the 
form of the pivots, the Astronomer-Royal has concluded that no cor- 
rection for the shape of the pivots is required, — A thenceum, No. 1237. 

LORD ROSSE'S SPECULA OP SILVER. 

It is well known that in reflection by silver much less light is 
lost than by any of the other metals ; but, unfortunately, this metal 
is so soft that it is very difficult to give it the requisite degree of 
high polish. Lord Rosse tried by the electrotype process to procure 
a surface with a high polish, by depositing silver on a surface of 
speculum metal, and treating it by the same process as that used 
in the Trigonometrical Survey of Ireland. But, unfortunately, he 
soon found, that use what precautions he would, either there took 
place an adherence of the deposited silver to the surface on which it 
had been deposited, or the polish was rendered imperfect by the 
means resorted to to prevent this. He tried copper similarly, which 
did not adhere, but produced a high degree of polish; but of course 
its colour and other properties rendered it inadmissible as a reflector. 
He then determined to endeavour to grind and polish a plane surface 
of silver, the softness of that metal having, however, heretofore caused 
the attempt to fail in the hands of the most experienced who had 
tried it. The processes of grinding and polishing are essentially dif- 
ferent. In grinding, the substance, whether emery or other powder, 
must run loose between the substance which is used to rub it 
against the other and that which is to be ground ; and he soon found 
that he could not use emery or any other grinding powder for 
bringing a surface of silver to a correct form, — for, from the softness 
of the metal, and the unequal hardness of its parts, the emery was 
found to confine its action to the softer parts, leaving the harder 
portions in elevated ridges and prominences, something in the way 
that the ii'on handle of a pump which has been long and much used 
may be observed to be worn away. Hard steel he found he could 
bring to a very true surface, and even impart to it a high degree of 
polish ; but the quantity of light it was capable of reflecting was by 
no means sufficient : nor could he succeed in imparting to the sur- 
face of silver, by compression with highly-polished steel surfaces, 
the evenly and high-polished sui-face requisite for his purpose. At 
length, he found that he could, by the use of good German hones, 
grind surfaces of silver perfectly true, and he had now no doubt that 
he could with safety recommend for that purpose as the best material 
the blue variety of the German hone. 

Next was the polishing of the surface to a true optical plane 
reflecting surface, not so easy a task as supposed; for although our 
silversmiths do produce surfaces of silver of an extremely brilliant 
polish, as in the magnificent plateaux and other articles which they 
turn out, yet if any one will take the trouble to examine these sur- 



62 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

faces, they will be found to be so irregular, though highly polished, 
as to be entirely uufit for producing correct images by reflection. 
And it is a singular fact, that although, in the first part of the pro- 
cess of polishing, chamois leather of the finest kind was used to rub 
the rouge on the silver surface, yet the finer finishing polish had 
always to be communicated by the human hand. Nor would the 
hand of every individual answer : the manufacturer had to select 
those with the very softest and finest grain ; nor would the hand of 
perhaps one in every twenty of the persons employed answer for thus 
giving the final finish. But it was obvious that the irregular action 
of the human hand would by no means answer the end he had in 
view. Suffice it to say, that at length, after many fruitless trials, he 
had succeeded in producing a polishing surface which seemed fully 
to answer the purpose, by exposing spirits of turpentine to the con- 
tinued action of air, or by dissolving a proper quantity of resin in 
the spirits of turpentine, and by means of this varnish applying the 
rouge to the same description of polishing substance which he used 
in polishing the speculum metal, and which he had heretofore so fre- 
quently described. By the use of this polishing substance, he had 
produced a plane surface of silver, which, as far as the photometric 
means he had within his reach would enable him to measure the light 
before and after reflection, did not lose in that action seven parts out 
of the hundred, and which, tested in the manner which he usually 
adopted, defined admirably. 

At the close of this explanation, given by the Earl of Rosse, at the 
Meeting of the British Association, at Ipswich, the Astronomer-Royal 
begged to know how Lord Rosse secured the plane form of the sur- 
face in grinding and polishing ? The Earl of Rosse replied, that as 
to the mode of grinding, it was that commonly adopted for producing 
accurately flat surfaces. But the mode in which he tested it was 
peculiar. It was this : a watch-dial was placed before a good tele- 
scope, and as soon as the eye-piece was accurately adjusted to the 
position of most distinct vision, the plane mirror was placed in front 
of it at an angle of 45°, and the watch-dial was moved round by a 
simple contrivance to such a position as that its image should very 
nearly occupy the place it had been just removed from. If now the 
adjustment of the telescope for distinct vision remained unchanged, 
the proper form had been attained : but if, by drawing out the eye- 
piece, more distinct vision was obtained, it was concluded it had 
received a convex form ; if, on pushing it farther in, it gave the 
image more distinct, then it was concluded the mirror had received 
a concave form. 

Professor Chevalier wished to know whether Lord Rosse intended 
to form the great speculum similarly of silver? The Earl of Rosse 
replied that he bad at present no expectation of doing so. That it 
was a very different matter to grind and polish a speculum of a few 
square inches surface — which could be done by a small machine 
worked by hand, and from which to the eye-piece the light had to 
travel but about 3 feet — to executing the same operations over 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 63 

the surface of a speculum 6 feet in diameter, and from which the 
light after reflection had to travel a distance of 53 feet. For Newton, 
with his usual sagacity, had long since shown, that any error in the 
form of the object speculum of a reflector was a much more serious 
injury to the performance of the instrument than an equal error 
would be in the plane speculum, and that for the identical reason he 
had just pointed out. 



NEW AMERICAN LOCK. 

Robert Newell, of New York, has patented certain new and 
useful improvements in the construction of locks. 

The object of the present improvements is the constructing of 
locks, in such manner that the interior arrangements, or the com- 
bination of the internal moveable parts may be changed at pleasure 
according to the form given to, or change made in the key, without 
the necessity of arranging the moveable parts of the lock by hand, 
or removing the lock, or any part thereof from the door. In locks 
constructed on this plan the key may be altered at pleasure, and the 
act of locking, or throwing out the bolt of the lock, produces the par- 
ticular arrangement of the internal parts, which corresponds to that 
of the key for the time being, while the same is locked this form is 
retained until the lock is unlocked or the bolt withdrawn, upon which 
the internal moveable parts return to their original position with 
reference to each other ; but these parts cannot be made to assume, 
or be brought back to their original position, except by a key of the 
precise form and dimensions as the key by which they were made to 
assume such arrangement in the act of locking. The key is change- 
able at pleasure, and the lock receives a special form in the act of 
locking according to the key employed, and retains that form until 
in the act of unlocking by the same key it resumes its original, or 
unlocked state. The lock is again changeable at pleasure, simply by 
altering the arrangement of the moveable bits of the key, and the 
key may be changed to any one of the forms within the number of 
permutations of which the parts are susceptible. 

The following are the claims made by Mr. Newell* : — 

1. The constructing, by means of a first and secondary series of slides or tum- 
blers, of a changeable lock, in which the particular form or arrangement of parts 
of the lock imparted by the key to the first and secondary series of slides or 
tumblers, is retained by a cramp plate. 

2. The constructing by means of a first and secondary series of slides or tum- 
blers, of a changeable lock, in which the peculiar form or arrangement of parts 
of the lock imparted by the key is retained by means of a tooth or teeth and 
notches on the secondary series of slides or tumblers. 

3. The application to locks of a third or intermediate series of slides or 
tumblers. 

4. The application of a dog with a pin overlapping the slides or tumblers, for 
the purpose of holding in the bolt when the lock is locked or unlocked. 

5. The application of a dog operated on by the cap or detector tumbler for 
holding the bolt. 

6. The application of a dog for the purpose of holding the internal slide or 
tumbler. 

* The partner of Mr. Hobbs, by whose name the lock goes. 



61 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

7. The application to locks of curtains or springs turning and working eccen- 
trically to the motion of the key for preventing access to the internal parts 
of the lock. 

8. The application to locks of a safety plug or yielding plate at the back of the 
chamber formed by such eccentric revolving curtain or ring. 

9. The application to locks of a strong metallic wall or plate for the purpose of 
separating the safety and other parts of the lock from each other, and prevent- 
ing access to such parts by means of the keyhole. 

10. The application to locks of a cap or detector tumbler, for the purpose of 
closing the keyhole as the key is turned. 

11. The constructing a key by a combination of bits or moveable pieces, with 
tongues fitted into a groove and held by a screw. 

12. The constructing a key having a groove in its shank to receive the detector 
tumbler. 



AERATED LIQUIDS. 

M. Fevre, of Paris, has patented certain improvements in appa- 
ratus for manufacturing and containing soda water and other gaseous 
liquids, and also in preserving other substances from evaporation. 
These improvements refer principally to portable apparatus for 
aerating liquids. For this purpose vessels are furnished with two 
chambers, a large and a small one, of globular or other suitable form, 
to withstand the pressure; these are united at a narrow neck by a 
union or screw joint made of metal, and attached to the necks of the 
vessels, which are of porcelain or other suitable material. In some 
cases, the upper vessel is the generator, and in others it is the lower 
one, that being the smallest of the two vessels. A pipe is fixed to the 
neck of one vessel, and descends nearly to the bottom thereof ; this 
pipe is also long enough to reach some distance up into the other 
vessel or chamber. The liquid to be aerated is placed in one part, 
and the material for producing the gas in the other — they are then 
united. The containing vessel is now placed uppermost, when a 
portion of the liquid passes down the pipe by reason of its being 
short of the full depth of that vessel, the surplus liquid above the 
pipe when inverted passing down into the generator. The whole 
apparatus is again placed in its proper position — that is, with the 
container at the bottom, when the gas generated in the upper vessel 
will rise, and passing down the central pipe, enter the liquid below, 
which thereby becomes aerated. Another small pipe dips down the 
centre of the container, which is in connexion with a tap placed at 
the union of the two parts of the apparatus, and by which the 
aerated liquid is drawn off. There are other arrangements of this 
apparatus. — Patent Journal, No. 282. 

MANGOLD-WURZEL BEVERAGES. 

Mr. Huckvale, of Choice-hill, Oxon, has patented improvements 
in treating mangold- wurzel, and in making drinks and other prepara- 
tions therefrom. The patentee has for his object a material wherewith 
to mix coffee, or to be used as a substitute for coffee, and also for other 
drinks. In preparations as a substitute for coffee, the root of the 
plant is cut into small pieces about the size of peas ; this is then 
dried and roasted in the manner of coffee-roasting. This material, so 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AKTS. 65 

prepared, is afterwards ground and treated in a manner similar to 
coffee. 

The second preparation is a decoction of the leaves, intended as 
a substitute for tea. For this purpose the leaf is denuded of the 
principal stalks or fibrous portions, and afterwards dried. It is then 
curled up by means of heated plates, which thoroughly dry the leaves, 
when they are in a fit state for keeping. The beverage from this is 
prepared by infusion, in the manner of, and as a substitute for tea. 

Other drinks may be produced from this root by fermentation ; to 
effect which the roots, after being well cleaned, are cut into pieces 
and placed in a vat, in which they are heated to about 75°, and 
allowed to ferment, adding a suitable quantity of water, according to 
the strength of the drink to be prepared, which is drawn off from the 
vat and stored till required. The last preparation is that of a wort, 
which is effected by boiling the root m water, and then allowing fer- 
mentation to take place. It is afterwards treated as ordinary wort. 
— Patent Journal, No. 282. 



FIRE VARNISH. 

The Paris correspondent of the St. Louis Republican states : — An 
important discovery is the Fire Varnish recently brought out by a 
Spaniard, Don Jose Gueseda. It was first tried at Matanzas, and 
has since been tried at Madrid. Five small frame houses, covered 
with tar and turpentine, were erected in an open square ; two of the 
houses being covered with varnish, and the others were not. The 
latter were reduced to ashes almost as soon as they were set on fire ; 
whereas the former, in spite of the tar and turpentine, remained per- 
fectly uninjured to the end of the trial, which lasted two hours. The 
trial was the more severe, as the five houses were close together, and 
all of them were on fire in the inside ; but the flames did not break 
forth at all from the varnished houses. Besides this, in the midst of 
the conflagration, two gallons of some strong essence were thrown 
upon the varnished houses, when they were immediately entirely 
enveloped in flames ; but when the liquid was exhausted, the walls 
appeared intact, as before. — Builder, No. 464. 



PATENTED CONSTRUCTION OP ROADS AND PAVEMENTS. 

M. H. F. Marie de Pous, of Paris, has enrolled a patent in this 
country for the " combination of certain substances, and the employ- 
ment of certain processes, applied to the construction of roads, 
streets, pavements, and ways, with or for the running of locomo- 
tives." The processes consist chiefly of spreading thin layers of 
material, such as ironstone in a granular state, and then watering 
and rolling, repeating the layers to the requisite thickness. In 
certain cases solution of sulphate of iron is used for watering, and 
the ironstone combined with volcanic schistus gluten. " The sub- 
stances best suiting this formation of pavement are iron ore, in slate 
or stone, reduced to small pieces; granulated cast-iron, either broken 
or in chippings or shavings ; iron or other metals, reduced to pieces 

F 



66 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

or shavings ; volcanic schistus, known as volcanic gluten, after having 
been subjected to the action of the fire, and pulverized and converted 
into cement; all cements and hydraulic limes; lime plaster, sand- 
stones, iron drosses, slags, bitumens, asphalte, sulphur, sulphate of 
alumina, or alumina, and sulphate of iron, previously observing that 
the ground is macadamised and rolled, or otherwise hard pressed, to 
produce a sufficiently permanent and compact mass, to sustain the 
traffic of the road or way. In all cases the substratum of this cha- 
racter is required, as the material to form the surface is not applied 
in sufficient thickness to ensure its remaining perfect without a pre- 
viously prepared permanent bed." The several combinations of 
materials, the patentee has described separately, as so many indi- 
vidual processes. 

NEW PATENT OMNIBUS. 

A NEW construction of Omnibus has been patented by Mr. J. A. 
Franklinsky, which promises to prevent the annoyance so long com- 
plained of, by insuring to each passenger exclusive protection from 
nis neighbour. The arrangement of the interior provides each pas- 
senger with a private seat ; to this seat is attached a looking-glass, 
with a bell to ring for the conductor to pay attention to a speaking- 
pipe, through which the passenger is to speak to the conductor to 
stop when required ; but, should any person wish to speak to his 
neighbour, he has only to touch a spring, and there will open a win- 
dow for that purpose. 

The exterior of the omnibus is furnished with a gallery, with steps 
at the end of the carriage ; and along this gallery each passenger 
passes to his private door. Attached to the vehicle is an apparatus, 
by which the proprietor is enabled to ascertain the number of pas- 
sengers conveyed during the day. 

Messrs. Cook, Rowley and Co., of King-street, Golden -square, and 
Liquorpond-street, Gray's-inn-lane, build this new omnibus for the 
patentee. 



AMEEICAN BRICKS. 

We find in the Portsmouth Journal (U. S.), a notice of the process 
of making Bricks by steam, practised at the establishment of Messrs. 
Woodworth and Moore, of Boston. The clay is ground up, pulver- 
ized, and bolted as fine as meal. In this state, entirely dry, except 
moistening the moulds to prevent adhesion, the clay is turned into 
eight boxes of the size of bricks, and they undergo a pressure of 600 
tons. The machinery then raises the bricks and pushes them for- 
ward while the moulds are filling ; and then another revolution pro- 
duces eight more. Seven revolutions are made in a minute, pro- 
ducing fifty-six bricks, so hard when taken from the machine, that 
wheel-barrow loads of eighty are packed up together without marring 
them in the least. The bricks, says our authority, come from the 
kiln with a beautiful, smooth, and straight surface, equal to any 
pressed bricks we have seen brought to our market. With this ma- 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 67 

chine twenty men can make 30,000 bricks in a day. There being 
no evaporation, the burning can be made with a great saving of 
fuel. 



HANSOME'S BRICK-MAKING MACHINES IN INDIA. 

The .Delhi Gazette and the Friend of India give some account of 
certain difficulties with the native caste of brick moulders in prepar- 
ing about 100,000,000 of bricks for the great works at Roorkee ; and 
of the way in which these difficulties were overcome by Colonel Cant- 
ley, who purchased of Messrs. Ransome and Parsons, of Ipswich, one 
of " Hale's patent" machines, of which that well-known firm are both 
the manufacturers and the patent proprietors. The machine in question 
not only succeeded admirably, turning out upwards of 10,000 perfect 
bricks every day, or doing the work of twelve brick moulders, but 
brought the fractious natives to their senses, and made them both 
more willing and more industrious in the face of their tremendous 
rival. Other machines, however, were made from Messrs. Ransome'a 
model, in India, and also set to work. The saving to Government 
by the use of these machines on this single undertaking alone is 
estimated at nearly a lakh of rupees; and it is thought that "any 
enterprising individual who would construct and work a few of these 
machines in Bengal, would bring down the price of bricks, to the 
great benefit of the public, and not less, perhaps, to himself." 



manufacture of "bath bricks." 
At a conversazione of the Somersetshire Archaeological Society, 
Mr. Baker has read a paper on the deposits of the river Parrett. lie 
dwelt on the economical advantages presented by them, remarking, 
there were made from them 8,000,000 bricks every year, the value 
of which at present amounted to £12,000 or £13,000. The number 
of persons employed was very great. Sometimes a man, his wife, 
and four or five children, were kept at work at one moulding, and 
thus they could often get as much as £2 per week. This deposit was 
not found anywhere in the world besides, so that Bridgewater had to 
furnish the whole world with it ; and it was remarkable that these 
"Bath bricks" were just as well known in China as in England. 
They were known in India, and all over the world. — Builder, 
No. 414. 



WATER-PIPES IN FROST-TIME. 

A PAPER has been read to the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, by 
Mr. Macpherson, plumber, "On a Method of Preventing Water- 
pipes from Bursting during Frost." Mr. Macpherson described the 
means at present adopted, siich as outside coverings of straw, rope- 
yarn, &c, to the pipes in exposed situations; and also the mode 
generally recommended of allowing the water to run or circulate 
partially through the pipes, all of which he demonstrated to be prac- 
tically useless, and showed that the only effectual means of preserv- 
ing pipes from the action of frost was simply to keep them empty. 

f2 



63 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

The difficulty, however, even in this, was the sudden and unexpected 
changes of temperature, which often in a single night froze the whole 
water contained in the pipes, rendering this precaution also useless, 
unless attended to with great care. He conceived it possible to em- 
ploy some self-acting apparatus to shut off the water and empty the 
pipes, or to have a machine so constructed as to shut a cock at the 
freezing point of water (32°), and to reopen it when a rise of tempe- 
rature took place. Water, as we all know, expands in freezing, and 
Mr. Macpherson applied this expansive principle to a small body of 
water confined in a better conductor of heat than the lead pipes, and 
in connexion with a double-acting valve to shut off the water and 
empty the pipes. 



GLASS PIPES. 

The deleterious nature of some of the metallic pipes now in use 
for the conveyance of water for domestic purposes, has of late strongly 
attracted the notice of the public, and should lead them to regard 
with favour Messrs. Swinburne's Glass Pipes, advertised in our paper. 
Glass, especially that kind which is made without metallic flux, is 
impervious to water for an almost indefinite period of time, and is 
therefore an admirable medium for the circulation and retention of 
water. 

Although this quality has been long appreciated, the difficulty of 
making joints on glass tubes of a durable or effective nature has pre- 
vented their use. Any cementing substance of a high temperature, 
such as solder, would crack the glass, and most non-metallic cements 
of a saline or resinous quality, bear little pressure, and are generally 
soluble. Messrs. Swinburne consider this difficulty is now entirely 
obviated, by their process, in which a metallic collar or band is firmly 
fixed at the end of a glass pipe, and incorporated with its exterior 
substance. By this means glass pipes can be most easily joined 
together. 

The price for the pipes, including the joints, is less than that of 
lead, and they are made of curved or rectangular shapes to suit the 
positions in which they may be required. — Builder, No. 432. 



INCRUSTATIONS IN BOILERS. 

We find by an American paper, that in Louisville, where the 
water is strongly impregnated with lime, coal-tar is said to have 
been found to operate much better than any other agent yet experi- 
mented with in protecting boilers from corrosion by lime incrusta- 
tions. The mode of application is as follows : — The boiler having 
been thoroughly cleaned, a pint of tar is poured inside, and, as the 
boiler is refilled with water, the thin film of tar which floats on the 
surface attaches itself to the interior. Afterwards, a pint of tar per 
week to a boiler of about 28 feet in length, is poured amongst the 
water, to maintain the coating at first produced. By these means, 
the lime deposit adheres to the tar instead of the iron, and can be 
removed, it is said, with comparatively little or no trouble. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 69 

In coincidence with this plan, we observe that Mr. J. Ashworth, 
of Bristol, manager of the Great Western Cotton-works, has secured 
a patent for the employment of a certain compound of coal-tar, 
linseed-water, plumbago, or black-lead, and Castile, or other soap, 
for the same purpose. The following proportions are said to have 
been found to answer: — 33 gallons of coal-tar, 21 gallons of linseed- 
water (prepared by boiling, with the aid of steam, 14 lbs. of linseed 
in water, and then straining, to remove the seeds and other impu- 
rities), 5 lbs. of plumbago, or black-lead, and 8 lbs. of Castile soap (or 
soft-soap, but not with so much advantage). These ingredients form 
a creamy composition, of which, for a 30-horse power boiler, one 
gallon is introduced twice a week (the steam having been previously 
blown off). The impurities scale off and fall to the bottom of the 
boiler, whence they can be swept out, or otherwise removed. — 
Builder, No. 463. 



WHEAT THRESHED STANDING IN THE FIELD. 

A machine has been in operation in Australia for two or three 
years at least, which proceeds at once to thresh the grain out of the 
standing corn, without waiting for the usual preliminary process of 
reaping. The following is an extract of a letter from Australia, re- 
ceived last year, and communicated to the Times : — 

"Archerfield, Dec. 15, 1849. 
"We have got a reaping machine this year with which we have taken oil' all 
our wheat crop, with two teams of bullocks, eight each, one man to steer, and 
two boys to drive. We can reap and thresh eight or nine acres per day in good, 
not weather; it is certainly an excellent machine for such a climate as this. 
We paid £70 for the machine. There are some light machines made for horses, 
but ours is a strong, substantial article, and is drawn by bullocks and a chain at- 
tached to the near side corner. There is a comb in front about 4£ feet wide, the 
teeth of which are only wide enough to take in the straw below the ears ; a drum 
works on the back end of the comb, threshes out the wheat, and throws it into 
the machine. We keep the winnowing machine going at the end of the field, 
and by this means we have the wheat ready for the market at once. The straw, of 
course, is left in the field, but that is not much regarded in this country; most 
people burn it, but when the weather is very hot and dry it can easily be har- 
rowed ofi','' & e - 



THE GREAT EXHIBITION BUILDING. 

Some months before Mr. Paxton's design was submitted for the 
purpose of the Great Exhibition, at the time when a temporary booth 
only was contemplated, Mr. W. B. Adams made the following propo- 
sition, in the Westminster Review for April, 1850, in an article 
entitled " The Industrial Exhibition :" — 

"There is one object to which the extensive area of the Exhibition 
might be devoted, and that an object of such utility, that it would 
be important to promote it, even if the Exhibition were put aside al- 
together — that of a great metropolitan conservatory or winter garden. 
The materials of construction for the conservatory would be chiefly 
iron and glass ; materials incombustible, and by which a large space 
may be covered in as cheaply as by any other." — Proceedings of the 
Society of Arts. 



70 YExVR-EOOK OF FACTS. 

AN IEON BALL-EOOM. 

A SPACIOUS Ball-room of corrugated iron has been constructed b 
Messrs. Bellhouse, of Manchester, for the royal residence at Balmoral. 
It appears that Prince Albert's attention was directed to the model 
of an iron house, deposited by Mr. Bellhouse, in the Great Exhibi- 
tion ; and the result was, after some investigation, an order in July 
last, to provide a building for Balmoral, to be used as a ball-room, 
studio for artists, or room for private theatricals. 

The dimensions of the structure are as follow : — Length, 60 feet ; 
breadth, 24 feet; height of the eaves, 10 feet; to the central ridge, 
17 feet. The foundation consists of a framework of timber, the sec- 
tion of which is 8 inches by 6 inches — laid perfectly level and true — 
and running beneath the sides and ends of the erection. Upon this 
framework are bolted the base plates of cast-iron upright pilasters, 
at intervals of about 8 feet. The pilasters at the sides are pre- 
pared at the top to receive the feet of wrought-iron principals, 
for the roof, which extends from the pilasters at the front to 
those at the back, forming a strong and complete tie across the 
building. A series of angle-iron ribs running lengthwise along the 
erection connect the principals together, and receive the sheets of 
the roof, which are of corrugated iron, in sheets of about 7 feet by 
2 feet 2 inches, the corrugations running vertically from the ridge to 
the gutter of the eaves. The ends of these sheets meeting at the 
angle of the ridge, are connected together by a cast-iron ridge cap- 
ping, to which they are bolted. The upper line of the ridge is orna- 
mented by iron castings of the fleur-de-lis pattern, which gives a neat 
effect to the roof. The lower ends of the roof sheets are bolted to 
the inner edge of the gutter, which is prepared to fit the corrugations 
and make a joint. The sheets forming the front, back, and ends of 
the erection are placed in the contrary direction to those of the roof, 
that is to say, the direction of the corrugation is from pilaster to pi- 
laster, horizontal. The sides of the pilasters are prepared in such a 
way as to receive the ends of the corrugated sheets. The lower 
edges of the side sheets are bolted to moulded base-plates, which are 
fastened down upon the upper surface of the wooden framework, 
and which also seiwe to divert the wet from the centre of the wood 
frame. The upper edge of the wall sheets are bolted to a flange cast 
along the under side of the gutter. Moulded capitals of a foliated 
design, and a panel in the body of the pilaster, with the projecting 
moulded front of the cast-iron gutter running along the eaves, give 
a good effect to the design. At the gable the roof projects boldly 
over the face of the building, and a barge of cast-iron, surmounted 
by a pointed finial, the angle pilasters and two intermediate ones, 
and the returns at the corners of the moulded gutters, afford relief to 
the gables. The front is divided by the pilasters into seven bays : 
in the centre bay is the entrance door, and in those adjoining on each 
side are windows: in those next to the ends are also windows; and 
the two intermediate and otherwise blank bays are relieved by the 
downpipes which descend from the gutters. The back is similarly 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL AKTS. 71 

arranged, save that there is no door, but only the four windows. At 
one of the ends to the right of the central or side door, there is 
another door : the other end has no opening. The doors are of wood, 
panelled and moulded, 3 feet 6 inches wide, and are hung in wooden 
frames, which are fitted to the corrugated sheets. The window- 
frames and sashes are also of wood, and are hinged in the manner 
of French casements. The doors are each surmounted outside by 
iron castings of the royal arms, — which form an appropriate orna- 
ment. In the centre of the roof is fixed an iron ventilator, with a 
hipped cover : a wooden valve worked from the interior by a rope 
running over pulleys enables the aperture to be opened or closed at 
pleasure. The whole of the several parts of the structure are fastened 
together by small bolts, and are designed with a view to the attain- 
ment of the greatest possible convenience in erection and removal, 
and to the exclusion of moisture. It was floored at Balmoral, so as 
to save the cost of the transit of timber. Its cost, we understand, is 
about 3002. 

The iron corrugated plates are a form of sheet-iron found to have 
very great resistance to weight and pressure, and therefore to be 
admirably calculated for use, either as walls, or as roofs. The thick- 
ness of the plates used. for the Balmoral ball-room is No. 18, wire- 
gauge, which is less than the sixteenth of an inch in thickness. The 
corrugations are about an inch and a half deep, and about five inches 
apart from one centre to another. The sheet of iron is thus made 
capable of supporting a weight equivalent to that which a series of 
beams, side by side, and an inch and a half deep, would carry. One 
such plate, 8 feet long and 2 feet wide, with 7 feet clear of bearings, 
bore the weight of three persons (probably, about the weight of 
5 cwt.) standing upon it together. 



NEW ROOFING. 

Mr. C. Cowper has patented a Tile, or plate of thin sheet-iron, 
coated with enamel, to protect the metal from the weather. The tiles 
may be of any suitable form. The body of the tile is cut or stamped 
of the proper shape. It also has a raised head formed round the 
edge, to prevent the water running off the tile, except at the lower 
end, where it drips on to the next. Two holes are also punched for 
fixing the tiles to the woodwork. The patentee sometimes rivets a 
hook so as to project on the under side of the tile : the stem of the 
hook is riveted through a hole in the metal plate before it is 
enamelled, and obviates the necessity of an India-rubber washer 
under the head of the nail. The coating is applied in two separate 
compounds, the one as the body and the other as a glaze. The body 
consists of sand or silica. The glaze is applied in fine powder, dusted 
on the wet coating. The powder adhering to the moist coating 
causes it to set in some measure, when the tile is deposited in a 
drying-room, previous to baking or firing. The tiles may be rendered 
ornamental by the application of colouring matters, which are burnt 
in.— Builder, No. 464. 



72 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

NEW MODE OF DISCHARGING GUNPOWDER. 

Some interesting experiments have been made at the Gutta Percha 
Company's Works, Wharf-road, City-road, for the purpose of demon- 
strating the means by which this extraordinary production may be 
applied to the operation of discharging gunpowder. A galvanic 
battery was connected with upwards of 50 miles of copper wire 
covered with gutta percha, to the thickness of an ordinary black-lead 
pencil. The wire, which was formed into coils, and which has been 
prepared for the projected submarine telegraph, was attached to a 
barge moored in the canal alongside the manufactory, the coils being 
so fixed together (although the greater portion of them were under 
water) as to present an uninterrupted communication with the 
battery to a distance limited at first to 57 miles, but afterwards 
extended to 70. A "cartridge" formed with a small hollow roof of 
gutta percha, charged with gunpowder, and having an intercommu- 
nicating wire attached, was then brought into contact with the 
electric current. The result was, that a spark was produced, which, 
igniting the gunpowder, caused an immediate explosion similar to 
that which would arise from the discharge of a small cannon. The 
same process was carried out in various ways with a view of testing 
the efficient manner in which the gutta percha had been rendered 
impervious to wet, and in one instance the fusee or cartridge was 
placed under the water. In this case, the efficiency of the insulation 
was equally well demonstrated by the explosion of the gunpowder at 
the moment the necessary " contact" was produced ; and by way of 
showing the perfect insulation of the wire, an experiment was tried 
which resulted in the explosion of the fusee from the charge of elec- 
tricity retained in the coils of wire, three seconds after contact with 
the battery had been broken. This feature in the experiment was 
especially interesting from the fact of its removing all difficulty and 
doubt as to whether the gutta percha would so far protect the wires 
as to preserve the current of electricity under the most disad- 
vantageous circumstances. A.nother experiment was successfully 
tried by passing the electric current to its destination through the 
human body. Mr. C. J. Wollaston, civil engineer, volunteered to 
form part of the circuit by holding the ends of 35 miles of the wire in 
each hand. The wire from the battery was brought to one end of 
the entire length of 70 miles, and instant explosion of the cartridge 
took place at the other end. The experiments were altogether per- 
fectly successful, as showing beyond all question that the properties 
of gutta percha and electricity combined are yet to be devoted to 
other purposes than that of establishing a submarine telegraph. The 
blasting of a rock, the destruction of a fortification, and other opera- 
tions which require the agency of gunpowder, have often been 
attended with considerable danger and trouble, besides involving 
large outlays of money, but it may be truly said that the employment 
of electricity in the manner described is calculated to render such 
operations comparatively free from difficulty. — Army and Navy 
Register. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ALTS. 73 

The probable utility of gutta percha in warfare is curiously 
enhanced by the fact, by the way, that some of the continental 
military (the French, if we recollect right) are actually said to have 
got ball -proof gutta percha breastlets — waistcoats — or whatever they 
may be called, from which balls drop off like mere hailstones ! so that 
ultimately the honest cobbler's idea that for the defence of town walls 
against cannon-balls, "there was nothing like lining them with 
leather," may at least be realized some day in gutta percha. 

In mining, too, as well as in warfare, its use is daily increasing, as 
the experiment just noticed may itself show. Buckets for descent 
and ascent in mines are also made of gutta percha, and we observe 
that a gutta percha tube has lately been placed in a colliery in Wales, 
having a shaft 400 feet deep, whereby a whisper, either from the 
bottom or top, is said to be instantly heard : a whistle calls attention, 
and then follows the message. A great source of mischief may be thus 
abolished by a safe and expeditious mode of communication. 

It is remarked in the Westminster Review, that " India-rubber and 
gutta percha seem destined to make a revolution in the world. 
Strange, how little the savages have done with them. For the elastic 
bow of yew an elastic string of vulcanized India-rubber is now sub- 
stituted, and drives an arrow with equal force and precision. A man 

may now carry his bow in his fob And thus, by the 

vulcanizing process, a stretched-out compressed pipe of India-rubber 
will yield a bowstring of any power that may be required. Another 
inventor has made a compound application of this principle. The 
rebound of the elastic cord is made to compress air in a tube by 
sudden action, and the air throws a bullet with considerable force. 
There is another advantage attending this arrangement : a man can 
pull with a force of about 60 lbs. weight. If each elastic cord be 
equal to 60 lbs., and he attaches twenty strings and puts them on 
tension at twenty efforts, he will have a force of 1200 lbs. to discharge 
at one effort. This principle is now applied to harpoon guns with 
advantage, whales being exceedingly sensitive to noise, as when 
powder is used." 

So that India-rubber is not behindhand in offensive weapons for 
warfare, if gutta percha in breastlets, or in lining fortification-walls, 
be ahead in those for defence. — Builder, No. 444. 

GUTTA PERCHA STEEEOTTPES. 

Gutta percha stereotypes, with gutta percha matrices, were shown 
at the Great Exhibition ; as well as impressions of the stereotypes, 
printed on paper in the usual printers' ink. The whole process, we 
should think, might be gone through in a few minutes, by help 
of some artificial cooling agency, or within an hour even with- 
out it. The matrix is just taken by pressure from the block of types 
while the sheet of gutta percha is hot and soft, and a sharp and fine 
impression it is quite capable of taking. When cold and hard, this 
stereotyping plate of gutta percha is ready to have a like impression, 
or reverse of itself, taken also, by pressure of a second soft and moist 



74 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

sheet of gutta percha on it; and this, when cold and hard, is ready 
at once for the press plate or cylinder. The specimens of printing 
from letters and engravings thus formed are as sharp as if taken in 
metal, and the flexible nature of the substance admits of its being 
curved round a cylinder, to adapt the surface more completely to the 
action of the cylinder printing-machine. The gutta percha type is 
even stated to be very durable, and to possess the advantage of print- 
ing the impressions on dry and even on glazed paper. This novel 
application of gutta percha, if it realize the expectations of the 
inventor, promises to be an important addition to typographic art. 

GUTTA PERCHA WATER-PIPE. 

A GUTTA percha pipe, of two and a half inches calibre and 1000 
feet in length, has been laid down for conveying the Croton water to 
Blackwell's Island, New York. The line extends from the foot of 
Seventyninth-street to the Island, the depth of the water varying 
from 30 to 7 feet. The engineer first arranged his pipe in one length 
upon the island, and formed a line of thirty boats, well manned, 
across the river. He then gave his order at the commencement of 
slack water, and the end of the pipe was drawn across the river by 
men upon the opposite shore, and was taken up by the men in the 
boats, and 110 anchors, each weighing thirty-two pounds, were 
attached to the pipe, being 10 feet apart. By word of command the 
men in the boats lowered at each point, to suit the inequalities in, 
the bed of the river, as ascertained by previous survey. This was 
all accomplished in seven and one-half minutes, without accident. — 
New York Paper. 

INDIA-RUBBER GAS-HOLDERS. 

Mr. J. L. Hancock has completed four portable Gas-holders, for 
the city of Mexico. As no workmen are to be found in the capital 
of Montezuma capable of putting an ordinary sheet-iron gas-holder 
together, and as the cost of sending out competent men from this 
country for such a purpose would have amounted to a large sum, it 
was suggested that a substitute for iron might be found in canvass 
rendered impermeable to gas by India-rubber, and Mr. Hancock's 
experience was called in to aid the carrying out of the suggestion. The 
vessels made by him are cylindrical bags, 12 feet diameter, and 15 
high, formed of a double thickness of strong canvass, stuck together 
with a solution of India-rubber. Rings of three -eighths of an inch 
round iron are introduced in the sides at intervals of about a foot, so 
as to keep them in their circular shape, and the whole when packed 
represents a disc of 12 feet in diameter, by a few inches in thickness, 
in which form they are intended to be transported to their destina- 
tion. The cost of each gas-holder complete is £55, or about 8c/. for 
each cubic foot of its contents, — a sum considerably less than the 
cost of a tank and gas-holder of this dimension, and of the usual con- 
struction, in this country. — Journal of Gas-ligliting. 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 75 

CAOUTCHOUC, AND ITS APPLICATIONS. 

Mr. Brockedon has read to the Royal Institution a paper " On 
some Properties peculiar to Caoutchouc, and their Applications." 

Caoutchouc is a vegetable constituent, the produce of several trees. 
The most prolific in this substance are, Siphonia caoutchouc, Urceola 
elastica, Ficus elastica, &c. Of these, the Siphonia caoutchouc extends 
over a vast district in Central America, — and the caoutchouc obtained 
from this tree is best adapted for manufactures. Over more than 
10,000 square miles in Assam the Ficus elastica is abundant. The 
Urceola elastica (which produces the Gintawan of the Malays) abounds 
in the islands of the Indian Archipelago. It is described as a creeper 
of growth so rapid, that in five years it extends 200 feet, and is from 
20 to 30 inches in girth. This tree can, without being injured, 
yield by tapping from 50 to 60 lbs. of caoutchouc in one season. A 
curious contrast is exhibited in the tardy growth of the tree from 
which the gutta percha is obtained. This tree does not come to its 
prime in less than from 80 to 120 years. The produce cannot be 
obtained but by the sacrifice of the tree. It is found in a concrete 
state between the bark and the wood after the tree has been cut 
down ; and it is in this condition that, having been scraped out, it is 
sent to our market. When coagulated by evaporation or agitation, 
caoutchouc separates from the aqueous portion of the sap of the trees 
which yield it. This solid and fluid cannot afterwards be reunited, 
any more than butter is capable of mixing with the milk from which 
it is separated. 

Caoutchouc is a hydro-carbon. This chemical character belongs to 
all varieties of the substance, and many other vegetable constituents, 
though they differ materially in physical qualities. Some specimens 
are harder than gutta percha itself, while others never solidify, but 
remain in the condition of birdlime or treacle. The process termed 
the vulcanizing of caoutchouc was discovered by Mr. Thomas Han- 
cock, in 1843. A sheet of caoutchouc immersed in melted sulphur 
absorbs a portion of it, and at the same time it undergoes some im- 
portant changes in many of its characteristic properties. It is no 
longer affected by climatic temperature : — it is neither hardened by 
cold nor softened by any heat which would not destroy it. It ceases 
to be soluble in the solvents of common caoutchouc, while its elasticity 
becomes greatly augmented and permanent. The same effect may 
be produced by kneading sulphur into caoutchouc by means of powerful 
rollers; or the common solvents naphtha and spirit of turpentine may 
be charged with a sufficient amount of sulphur in solution to become 
a compound solvent of rubber. In these cases, articles may be made 
in any requiied forms before heating for the change of condition. 
It is necessary, however, for this purpose, that the form should be 
carefully maintained during the exposure to the heat necessary to 
effect the vulcanization, which leaves it in a normal state. A vul- 
canized solid sphere of 2\ inches in diameter when forced between 
two rollers a quarter of an inch apart was found to maintain its form 
uninjured. In fact, it is the exclusive property of vulcanized caout- 



76 YExUR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

chouc to be able to retain any form impressed on it, and to return to 
that form on the removal of any disturbing force which has been 
brought to act on it. Caoutchouc slightly expands and contracts in 
different temperatures : it is also capable of being condensed under 
pressure. A cube of 2\ inches, impactly secured, was subjected to a 
force of 200 tons. The result was, a compression amounting to one- 
tenth ; great heat appeared to have been evolved ; and the excessive 
elasticity of the substance caused a fly-wheel weighing 5 tons to 
recoil with an alarming violence. The evolution of heat from caout- 
chouc under condensation is a property possessed by it in common 
with air and the metals. It differs, however, from the latter in 
being able to exhibit cold by reaction. 

Mr. Brokedon stated that he had raised the temperature of an 
ounce of water two degrees in about fifteen minutes by collecting 
the heat evolved by the extension of caoutchouc thread. He refers 
this effect to the change in specific gravity. He contends, that this 
heat thus produced is not due to friction ; because the same amount 
of friction is occasioned in the contraction as in the extension of the 
substance, and the result of this contraction is to reduce the caoutchouc 
thus acted on to its original temperature. Attention was directed to 
some of the latest applications of the elastic force of caoutchouc. 



SUBSTITUTE FOR THE MARINE GLUE. 

An excellent transparent substance, well adapted to replace the 
marine glue of Jeffrey, for many purposes, particularly where a 
transparent joint is required, as in the union of pieces of glass, 
invented by Mr. S. Lenher, Philadelphia, was exhibited at the 
monthly meeting of the Franklin Institute (September 8, 1850), and 
its properties explained. From its transparency, it was suggested 
by the chairman, Mr. G. W. Smith, as admirably adapted for the 
union of the parts of polyzonal lenses and rings. Small glass boxes, 
for containing microscopic objects, united by it, were shown, and 
gave much satisfaction. The composition of the cement is as follows : 
— Caoutchouc 15 grains, chloroform 2 ounces, mastic half an ounce. 
The two first-named ingredients are to be first mixed : after the 
gum is dissolved the mastic is added, and the whole allowed to 
macerate for a week, which is about the time required for the solu- 
tion of the mastic in the cold. More of the caoutchouc may be 
added where great elasticity is desirable. The convenience of its 
application with a brush, cold, recommends it for approval. — 
Franklin Journal. 



THE DANGER OF MODELLING IN WAX. 

Few persons, especially, perhaps, of the many young ladies who 
are now practising the very pleasing art of Modelling Fruits, 
Flowers, &c, in Wax, at all suspect the great danger in which they 
are placed from the poisonous nature of the colouring matter of the 
wax which t\\ey handle so unsuspectingly. The white wax, for 
instance, contains white lead ; the green, copper ; the yellow, chrome 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 77 

yellow ; the orange, chrome yellow and vermilion — strong poisons 
all ; while many other kinds of wax are equally poisonous, and, 
therefore, dangerous. Mr. W. Bally, phrenologist and modeller in 
wax, in which branch he has laboured for twenty-four or twenty-five 
years, three of them as teacher of the art at the Manchester 
Mechanics' Institute, has been at times completely paralysed, espe- 
cially in the hands and arms ; and he has also been afflicted with 
extensive ulceration of the throat, and has almost totally lost his 
voice. Both himself and his medical adviser, after a long attention 
to his symptoms, are satisfied that the primary cause of his affliction 
is the extent to which the subtle poisons in the wax with which ho 
has worked have been absorbed into his system through the pores of 
his hands, while the disease has been generally strengthened, and 
one part of it accounted for by the occasional application of his 
fingers to his lips while at work. Mr. Bally says that he has known 
several cases in which young ladies have been attacked with partial 
paralysis of the hands and arms, after having devoted some time to 
the practice of modelling ; but at the time he had no suspicion of the 
cause. As all the requisite colours can be obtained from vegetable 
matter, and as the use of mineral colouring seems to lead to such 
deplorable results, the subject should be investigated by those work- 
ing with coloured wax. — Manchester Examiner. 



ARTIFICIAL LEATHER. 

A Steam-engine of 6 or 8 horse power has been erected at Alding- 
ton, Mass., for grinding up the chips and savings of leather which 
are cut off by the shoe and boot makers, and which have heretofore 
been burned or thrown away. These are ground to a powder re- 
sembling coarse snuff, and this powder is then mixed with certain 
gums and other substances, so thoroughly that the whole mass 
becomes a kind of melted leather. In a short time this dries a little, 
and is rolled out to the desired thickness — perhaps one twenty-fourth 
of an inch. It is now quite solid, and is said to be entirely water- 
proof. 



GELATINE CASTS. 

By the use of Gelatine, elastic moulds are formed capable of repro- 
ducing, with accuracy, and in a single piece, the most elaborately- 
sculptured objects, of exquisite finish and delicacy. Casts from these 
are now common in the streets. The credit of the application of 
this substance to the purpose is due, it is stated, to Mons. H. Vincent. 
The process of casting consists in dissolving a certain quantity of 
gelatine in hot water until it is reduced to the state of liquid paste 
when it is run over the object intended to be reproduced. As it 
cools, the gelatine assumes a consistency offering a considerable 
degree of resistance, and highly elastic, which latter quality enables it 
to be more easily detached from the work on which it has been fitted. 
In the hollow formed by the gelatine, a choice kind of plaster, pre- 
pared for the purpose, is next run ; and when the plaster has acquired 



78 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

tlie requisite degree of hardness, the gelatine mould is detached in 
the same manner as from the original : from this apparently fragile 
mould as many as six copies may be taken, all reproducing the 
original with unerring fidelity. It appears that numerous difficulties 
had to be overcome before such a result could be obtained. The 
chief of these consisted in preventing the two plastic substances, each 
impregnated with a certain quantity of water, from becoming wedded 
together, or retaining on their surfaces traces of the deposits of 
plaster or gelatine, as was constantly the case in the first experi- 
ments. By this process casts are produced with much greater 
rapidity than by the old mode. 



NEW COMPOSITION. 

Mr. A. V. Newton has patented certain improvements in the 
preparation of materials for the production of a composition appli- 
cable to the manufacture of buttons, knife and razor handles, ink- 
stands, door-knobs, and other articles, where hardness, strength, and 
durability are required. The inventor employs caoutchouc or gutta 
percha, or both combined, which he mixes with equal parts of sul- 
phur, and submits to a temperature of 250° to 300° Fahr., for a time 
varying from two to six hours, and thus obtains a substance possessing 
characteristics analogous to those of bone, horn, or jet. Carbonate or 
sulphate of magnesia or lime, or carbonate or sulphate of lime, or 
calcined French chalk and magnesian earths, together with salt of 
lead or zinc of any colour, shellac and resin, or other vegetable and 
mineral substances, are also recommended to be added to the compo- 
sition in proportions varying from 4 oz. to 8 oz. to every pound of 
gutta percha or caoutchouc. The composition may be moulded into 
articles of the required forms, and then subjected to heat, and 
hardened by being enclosed in fine sand or other suitable material. 
Or, after being rolled into thin sheets, it may be applied to wood or 
iron, and caused to adhere thereto by heat. Ornaments composed of 
this composition may be also caused to adhere to elastic bands, by 
submitting the bands to the vulcanizing process while in contact 
therewith. 



papier-mache. 
Mr. C. F. Bielefeld, of London, has patented improvements in 
the manufacture of sheets of papier-mache, or substances of the 
nature thereof. These improved processes are for the manufacture of 
pressed articles from pressured sheets instead of pulp, and for the 
production of such prepared sheets. The apparatus consists of a 
table, having a rack on either side, by which it is traversed back- 
wards and forwards under a roller, so supported as to give the 
required degree of pressure to the material, and at the same time 
capable of being varied in its elevation, in order to reduce or 
increase the amount of pressure ; or it may be a weighted roller for 
the purpose. The material which the patentee prefers for the 
manufacture of sheets of papier-mache, suitable for panels for cabins 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 79 

of steam-vessels and other like purposes, is given in the following 
proportions : — Mix with thirty parts of flour eighty parts of water, 
thoroughly incorporating the flour, so as to reduce the mixture to the 
consistency of paste, adding, at the same time, nine parts of alum 
and one of copperas. With this paste is then mixed fifteen paints of 
resin, previously dissolved by heat, adding, also, ten parts of boiled 
linseed oil and one of litharge. These ingredients having been mixed 
in the above order, are then mixed with about sixty parts of rag- 
dust, which the patentee finds the most economical, but other 
matters may be used, such as paper-maker's half-stuff or pulp 
deprived of its moisture to such an extent as to be no longer fluid. — 
Builder, No. 451. 



GILDING PORCELAIN. 

In Paris, a method of Gilding Porcelain is at present practised 
very economically, as the gold can be applied in very thin layers. 
The gilding, however, is not very permanent. The method consists 
in precipitating the gold from its solution in aqua regia by protoni- 
trate of mercury, and then mixing it with basic nitrate of bismuth. 
In other respects the process is as usual. To render the gilding 
more durable, M. Grenon recommends a layer to be previously burnt 
in ; this is then polished, and a second thin layer applied upon it in 
the above manner. — Gewerbeblattam Wurtemberg, No. 6. 



MACHINE PAPER-STAINING. 

Messrs. Heywood, Higginbottom, Smith, and Co., of London, 
have lately made some considerable improvements in Paper-staining. 
They are enabled, it seems, to work off twenty, or even thirty, colours, 
by once passing through the machine. The price at which these 
machine papers can be sold is not the least interesting feature, 
enabling the poorest cottager in the empire to decorate his home: 
one machine is capable of printing 250 pieces, or 3000 yards, per 
hour. 

The Journal of .Design says — ' ' It is well known that it is at least 
some dozen years since the cotton and calico-printers of Manchester 
first began to print from cylinders, and it was not until within the last 
four or five years that the paper-stainers applied the same principle to 
printing papers of a simple character, in one or two colours. At the 
outset their success was very moderate, being unaccustomed to the 
use of body colours, and unacquainted with their peculiarities and 
the best methods of applying them. Consequently the papers 
produced were of a very inferior character and quality, and did not 
esnter into competition with the block-printed papers. Lately some 
of the leading printers of the "golden flock papers," in London, 
have turned their attention to the use of the machine ; and it is 
most satisfactory and surprising to witness the rapidity and precision 
with which papers of six or eight colours are run off, the whole 
eight colours being printed during the passage of the papers, once 
through tlve machine. A single machine is capable of printing in one 



80 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

hour 200 pieces of paper, each 12 yards long, or 1500 pieces equal 
to 18,000 yards, or 54,000 feet per day. The paper upon which the 
patterns are printed is manufactured in lengths of 2880 feet each : 
these are afterwards cut into 80 pieces, each 12 yards long." 

AN ARTIFICIAL TOOTH MANUFACTORY. 

The Boston Christian Register contains a long and very interesting 
description of a visit to Dr. Morton's Tooth Factory, at Needhano, 
Massachusets ; from which we make the following extract : — 

" Pure crystallized quartz is calcined by a moderate heat. When 
taken from the fire it is thrown immediately into cold water, which 
breaks the rocks into numberless pieces. The large pieces are then 
broken up into smaller ones, and the whole, when reduced to a 
proper size, put into a mill, which is itself made of quartz. The 
mill is turned by steam power. Here the pieces of calcined quartz 
are ground up into a powder very much after the fashion of grinding 
Indian corn into meal. Next a variety of spar, which is free from 
all impurities, is ground up in like manner into a fine powder. 
Artificial teeth are composed of two parts, called the body and 
enamel. The body of the tooth is made first — the enamel is added 
last. 

"The next step is to mix together nearly equal parts, by weight, 
of the powdered spar and quartz. This mixture is again ground to 
a greater fineness. Certain metallic oxides are now added to it, for 
the purpose of producing an appropriate colour, and water and clay 
to make it plastic and give it consistence. This mixture resembles 
soft paste. The paste when thus prepared, is transferred to the 
hands of females, of whom he saw no less than fifteen engaged in 
filling moulds with it, or otherwise working upon it. After the paste 
has been moulded into proper shape, two small platina rivets are 
inserted near the base of each tooth, for the purpose of fastening it 
(by the dentist) to a plate in the mouth. They are now transferred 
to a furnace, where they are 'cured,' as it is technically called ; that 
is, half-baked or hardened. The teeth are now ready to receive the 
enamel, which is done by women ; it consists of spar and quartz, 
which has been ground, pulverized, and reduced to the shape of a 
soft paste or semi-liquid. In this state it is easily spread over the 
half-baked body of the tooth by means of a delicate brush. When 
this is accomplished, but one more step is required. The teeth must 
be subjected to an intense heat, for the purpose of thoroughly baking 
them. They are put into ovens, lined with platina and heated by 
a furnace, in which the necessary heat is obtained. The baking 
process is superintended by a workman, who occasionally removes a 
tooth to ascertain whether those within have been sufficiently baked. 
This is indicated by the appearance of the tooth. When they are 
done, the teeth are placed in jars or boxes ready for use. An 
experiment which was made, tested to our satisfaction the hardness 
of these artificial teeth. One of them taken indiscriminately out 
from a jar full, was driven, without breaking, into a pine board, 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 81 

until it was even with the surface of the wood. The register 
expressed its satisfaction at the neat, orderly, and intelligent appear- 
ance of the females employed in the manufactory. The room in 
which they labour at their task has a cheerful look which is not 
often seen." 



SMALTS AND ULTRAMARINE. 

Mr. C. Tomltnson, in a paper read to the Society of Arts, 
after describing the process of preparing Smalts, states : — 

The manufacture has been carried on both in Saxony and 
Norway, with profit to the producer and the consumer, for up- 
wards of 300 years ; and now, after this long period of success, it 
is a curious fact, that the miner of Saxony is threatened with a 
superfluity of comparatively useless ore. According to our new 
Customs duties, cobalt and zaffre can be imported free of duty, but 
on smalts a duty of 10s. per cwt. is levied. This ten-shilling duty is 
proving fatal to the manufacture ; for a rival colour, called artificial 
ultramarine, which is made at Cologne and the small towns on the 
banks of the llhine, comes in free, and is rapidly superseding smalts 
in the market, at least in all those cases where it is not used as an 
enamel colour. Ultramarine of the genuine sort is the product of the 
lapis-lazuli, a Siberian mineral of great beauty. The finest qualities 
of this colour are exceedingly costly (some valued at twenty guineas an 
ounce), but the artificial product referred to can be sold at a wholesale 
price of fifteenpence per pound. To distinguish smalts from artificial 
ultramarine: In the smalts minute portions of silica can be detected 
by rubbing with the finger, or by exposure to a good light, and 
examining with a lens ; and these are not to be found in the rival 
colour. The smalts is wholly unaffected by nitric acid ; but a few 
drops poured on the artificial ultramarine entirely destroys its colour, 
and the acid being decomposed, passes off in red fumes of nitrous 
acid. The German verb schmeltzen, to melt or smelt, and the noun 
schmeltz, or schmaltz, which signifies enamel, naturally lead to the 
English smalts, which is, literally, a product obtained by melting. 
At a very early period of its existence (1754), the Society of Arts 
promoted the discovery of cobalt in England; and, during a period of 
eighteen years, expended about 2001. in its encouragement. How- 
ever, for some reason their efforts have failed to produce any perma- 
nent result, as the quantity of cobalt obtained here is very small. 



RAILWAY ENGINE-WHEELS. 

The Rev. H. Moseley, in a paper " On the Rolling Motion of a 
Cylinder," communicated to the Royal Society, observes : — 

" If the angular velocity of projection be supposed to be that obtained by the 
cylinder when its centre of gravity is at its highest point, the general formula for 
the vertical pressure assumes a simple form, under which it is readily applicable 
to the case of the falsely-balanced carriage-wheel, a case which assumes a prac- 
tical importance, from the fact that the driving-wheels of locomotive engines are 
all, by reason of their cranked axles, falsely balanced unless counter-weights be 
applied. The danger which might arise from this fact does not appear to have 

G 



82 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

been at one time duly estimated; and when smaller engines were used than at 
present, and the axles were differently cranked, the author thinks there is reason 
to believe that the accidents which not unfrequently occurred with these engines 
(some of them attended by fatal results) were due to this cause. The fact seems 
first to have been brought prominently under the notice of engineers by the 
experiments of Mr. George Heaton of Birmingham, who caused a falsely-balanced 
wheel to roll round the periphery of a circular table, by means of an axis fixed to 
a pivot in its centre, and thereby exhibited the tendency to jump created by even 
a small displacement of the centre of gravity. 

"The analytical investigation in this paper shows how carefully the crank 
should be counterbalanced to provide the requisite security against the jumping 
of the wheel. It appears, that, assuming the weight of an engine to be from 20 to 
25 tons, and of a pair of six-feet driving-wheels from 2£ to 3 tons, a displacement 
of the centre of gravity of the wheel of about 3 inches from its centre would be 
sufficient to cause it to jump at any instant when it attained a speed of sixty miles 
an hour. 

" A table is given in the paper of the displacements of the centre of gravity 
necessary to produce jumps at different speeds. These vary inversely as the 
squares of the speeds. 

" Before a jump can take place, there must be a slip of the wheel, or at 
least the wheel must cease to bite upon the rail; and to this cause, as well as to 
the reciprocating action of the two pistons, the author considers may be due some 
portion of that fish-tail motion which is familiar to railway travellers. The 
calculations show the danger to be increased as the diameter of the driving-wheel 
is diminished, and they are unfavourable to the use of fight engines." 



STEAM AND GAS LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE. 

M. Leroy, of Paris, has patented certain improvements in gene- 
rating Steam in Locomotive Engines, by employing for that purpose 
Gases of the ordinary description used for lighting. The construction 
of the boiler is thus necessarily altered, burners being substituted for 
the furnaces. The patentee describes three methods of supplying gas 
to the burners. The first of these is, to have a main pipe, with 
branches from the works (which are to be erected in convenient 
situations near the line), laid down the whole length of each line of 
rails. This pipe has a slit or opening at the top, which is closed by a 
flexible continuous valve. The construction of the valve may be 
varied, and it may consist of a tube of flexible material slightly dis- 
tended by compressed air, and enclosed within and closely fitting a 
perforated tube, which has a corresponding longitudinal opening, and 
is furnished with flanges, by which it is secured inside the main pipe, 
immediately below the longitudinal opening ; or it may be simply a 
flexible lip- valve, such as was invented by Hallette, of Arras ; or it 
may be formed of two curved pieces of prepared leather or other 
material, kept in contact by the internal pressure of the gas. The 
feed-pipe of the engine, situated in the bottom of the smoke-box, is 
composed of two parts, with a telescope joint, the lower portion being 
pressed against the surface of the main-pipe by spiral springs. There 
is also fitted to the lower part a roller, which, when the engine is in 
motion, acts on the flexible valve; and, by depressing it, allows the gas 
in the main to ascend into the feed-pipe of the engine, whence it 
passes to the burners. Another method of supplying gas is, to have 
attached to the tender a reservoir capable of sustaining the pressure 
of the gas, and of containing a sufficient quantity to supply the 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 83 

burners from station to station. At every station, or as often as 
requisite, there would be cocks to the main for supplying the tender. 
The third method consists in combining these two systems, and sup- 
plying the tender at intervals from the main-pipe, parts of which only 
would thus require to be furnished with a flexible valve. For con- 
densing steam, it is proposed to employ a tube similar to that of the 
atmospheric railway, but of smaller dimensions, into which the waste- 
pipe of the engine should lead, and thus effect the desired object. The 
water of condensation would require to be occasionally drawn off. — 
Mechanics' Magazine, No. 1135. 

AIR-ENGINE. 

Mr. J. P. Joule has described to the Royal Society a new Air- 
Engine, consisting of a pump by which air is compressed into a 
heated receiver ; and a cylinder, through which the air passes again 
into the atmosphere, The difference between the work evolved by the 
cylinder and that absorbed by the pump, constitutes the work evolved 
by the engine on the whole. Two tables are given ; the first of which 
contains the pressure, temperature and work absorbed, for various 
stages of the compression of a given volume of air. The second table 
gives the theoretical duty of the air-engine described, worked at 
various pressures and temperatures. The temperature recommended 
to be adopted in practice is as little below the red-heat as possible, 
which, Mr. Joule adds, would involve the consumption of only about 
one-third the amount of fuel consumed by the best steam-engines at 
present constructed. 



HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION OF LATCHES AND LOCKS. 

Mr. John Chubb has read to the Society of Arts an interesting 
paper on this subject. 

The Latches described were the simple cottage thumb-latch, in 
wood and in iron ; the " drop-key latch," which opens by a jointed 
key; the "'French latch," in which the key lifts vertically; the 
"bevel-bolt latch," ordinarily applied with Bramah's lock to street 
doors; and lastly, Mr. Chubb's own "combination latch." 

The first description of fastening at all approaching to the charac- 
ter of a lock, of which we have any knowledge, consisted of a hori- 
zontal bar, moving into a staple or hole in the doorpost. There is 
in the Egyptian Room of the British Museum a model of a granary 
found at Thebes, where a fastening of this kind is applied to the door; 
a hole being made in the door below the bar, for the purpose, it is 
presumed, of allowing a crooked key to be inserted, and move the 
bar backwards and forwards. 

The Egyptian lock contains three loose pins, which being situated 
in the staple of the door, drop into corresponding holes in the bolt, 
when the bolt is in its place. The key has wires or prongs answering 
to the pins, by which they can be lifted to the level of the top side 
of the bolt, which can then be withdrawn. These pins are, in fact, 
tumblers. This lock is still in use in Egypt, and is to be found in 

g2 



84 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

some parts of Cornwall, whither it was probably brought by the 
Phoenicians. 

The " Letter Lock" was invented by Cardon, about the year 1590. 
It consists of a combination of metal rings, bearing letters, moving 
round a fixed cylinder, and can only be opened when a certain word 
is formed, by which the internal notches are brought into a line, so 
as to permit the hasp to be raised. Cardon's locks only permitted 
the use of one ward ; but by M. Regnier's subsequent improvements, 
a great extent of permutation is effected. 

The " Warded Lock" differs entirely in principle from the Egyptian 
lock, in having fixed instead of moveable obstructions to the ingress of 
any key or instrument intended to grapple with the bolt. It cannot 
be too strongly insisted on, that a warded lock, however complicated 
in its arrangements and beautiful in its workmanship, is, for any 
purpose of security, utterly worthless. An impression of the wards 
can easily be taken in wax, and a facsimile key made, or a picklock, 
which, escaping all the wards, opens the bolt with as much ease 
as the key itself. "And it is to me a matter of surprise that, as far 
as my knowledge extends, most of the prisons erected within the last 
ten years have been fitted with locks on this principle, somewhat 
modified, but not improved. In places where, of all others, the most 
secure locks should have been had, a blind economy has induced the 
use of others because they were apparently cheaper. Notwithstand- 
ing the system of inspection kept up in these prisons, it would require 
no great ingenuity in a prisoner to make a picklock out of a piece of 
common wire which should open all the cell-doors in the building." 

The true and radical principle of safety is, after all, found in the 
Egyptian lock, viz. that of several separate, independent, and moveable 
tumblers, or detainers of the bolt, each being lifted to its proper place 
by corresponding projections or parts of the key. Mr. Barron, in the 
year 1774, was the first to apply this principle ; and he also effected 
a great improvement by means of the overlift. His lock has two 
tumblers, each of which must be raised simultaneously to the precise 
height required, so as to allow the studs to pass through the slot in 
the bolt. There are upper transverse notches in the bolt ; so that 
you cannot tell, in any trial to pick it, when either tumbler, much 
less both, is in its proper position to let the bolt pass. 

" Bramah's lock," patented ten years after, consists of four or more 
moveable sliders inserted in a barrel, radiating from the key-pin. A 
thin steel plate is fixed round the barrel, preventing the barrel 
moving until all the notches are in a line. A notch is cut in each 
slider, differing in depth; corresponding notches are cut in the key, 
so that when it is applied to the lock all the notches are brought in a 
line round the barrel, which then allows the key to turn and withdraw 
the bolt. This lock has also the overlift applied to its sliders. False 
notches were subsequently applied by Mr. Bramah, as giving addi- 
tional security. 

" Chubb's lock" consists of six separate and distinct double-acting 
tumblers, with the addition of a ' detector, ' by which any attempt to 



MECHANICAL AND USEFUL ARTS. 85 

pick or open the lock by a false key is immediately notified on the 
next application of the proper one. The detector is the peculiar 
feature by which Chubb's lock is so well known- 
Gottlieb's, Parsons', and Strutt's locks are modifications of the 
tumbler lock. In various other locks, simplicity seems not to have 
been studied, but rather how complex both lock and key could be 
made, and therefore how inconvenient for general use. 

With respect to the best locks, let it be remembered that the first- 
class work must be done by the best and most skilful workmen, and 
that to secure them the highest rate of wages must be paid. The 
specimens of locks and keys in use three or four hundred years since, 
in workmanship and finish put to shame the execrable rubbish now 
sold as "sham Bramah's," "improved patent detector," and "war- 
ranted secui-e " locks. 



MANUFACTURE OF STEEL PENS. 

We find, in a very intelligent contribution to the Morning Chro- 
nicle, the following details: — 

Steel pens are almost entirely manufactured by women and young girls ; and, 
probably, out of the 2000 persons or upwards now engaged in the business, not 
above 100 or 150 are of the male sex. The manufacture of pen -holders, and that 
of pen-boxes, give employment to an additional number of women and children, 
variously estimated at from 200 to 400 persons. About the year 1820 or 1821, 
the first gross of " three-slit" steel pens was sold, wholesale, at the rate 
of 71. 4s. the gross. In 1830, they had fallen to 8»., and in 1832 to 6s. the 
gross. A better artticle is now sold at 6d. per gross. One factory alone in 
Birmingham produces them at the rate of no less than 40,000 gross, or 6,760,000 
in a week — very nearly a million, or 960,000 per working day, or 289,528,000 per 
annum. At the very lowest calculation, Birmingham produces 1000 millions 
per annum. The cheapest pens are sold as low as 2d. per gross, wholesale; and 
the price rises with the elasticity and finish of the pen, up to 3s. Gd. and 5s. per 
gross. Birmingham produces them all, and one establishment has the dis- 
tinctive marks of 500 duTerent dealers in all parts of the country, as well as on 
the continents of Europe and America, for whom he manufactures, according to 
order. The sheets of steel, received from Sheffield, are reduced to the requisite 
tenuity by successive transits through the rolling-mill operations, tended by men 
and boys. When reduced to the thinness of a steel pen, length about 2 feet, 
breadth 2\ to 3 inches, the sheets are ready for punching out the blanks. This 
process is performed with great rapidity — one girl, of average industry and 
dexterity, being able to punch out about 100 gross a day. The next operation 
is to place the blank in a concave die, on which a slight touch from a convex 
punch produces the requisite shape — that of the semi-tube. The slits and 
apertures to increase the elasticity, and the maker's or vendor's name or mark, 
are produced by a similar tool. Previously, however, the pen undergoes a variety 
of other processes. When complete all but the slit, it is soft and pliable, and 
may be bent or twisted in the hand like a piece of thin lead. Being collected in 
" grosses," or " great grosses," the pens are thrown into little iron square boxes 
by men, and placed in a furnace, where they remain till box and pens are of a 
white heat. They are then taken out, and thrown hissing hot into pails or tanks 
of oil, when they may be broken like so many wafers: after draining, they are 
made to revolve rapidly in a perforated cylinder. 



86 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 



Natural Pbflosop&p. 



PHTSICAL DEMONSTRATION OF THE EAETH'S MOTION OF KOTATION, BT 
MEANS OF THE PENDULUM. BT M. L. FOUCAULT. 

The Rotation of the Earth around its axis is one of those physical 
truths which appear too incontestable for any one to venture to call 
in question. Notwithstanding this, we have indirect proofs only of 
its existence ; some of these are derived from the apparent movement 
of the sun and of the vault of the heavens, others from the existence 
of centrifugal force, and others from the flattened form of the terres- 
trial globe at the poles, &c. To these proofs M. Leon Foucault has 
just added a new direct one of such kind as to convince the most in- 
credulous, if any such still exist; for he has succeeded in rendering 
the rotation of the earth as evident to the sight as that of a spinning 
top. Of his beautiful experiment, we shall endeavour to give our 
readers a summary idea from the extract which has appeared in 
the Comptes Rendus de V Academic des Sciences, for February the 3rd, 
1851. M. Foucault remarks, first, that the movement of translation 
of the earth may be discarded, as it exerts no influence upon the 
phenomenon in question ; he then supposes an observer to be trans- 
ported to the pole, and there to set up a pendulum of the utmost 
simplicity, i. e., a pendulum composed of a heavy, homogeneous, sphe- 
rical mass, suspended by a flexible wire to an absolutely fixed point ; 
he supposes, moreover, that this point of suspension lies exactly in 
the prolongation of the axis of rotation of the globe, and that the 
solid pieces which support it do not participate in the diurnal motion. 
If, under these circumstances, the mass of the pendulum be moved 
from its position of equilibrium, and it be left simply to the action of 
gravity, an oscillatory movement is produced in the direction of an 
arc of a circle, the situation of which is distinctly defined, and to 
which the inertia of matter ensures an invariable position in space. 
If, then, these oscillations continue during a certain length of time, 
the motion of the earth, which incessantly turns from the west to- 
wards the east, will become sensible by contrast with the immobility 
of the plane of oscillation, the trace of which upon the ground will 
appear excited by a motion conformable to the apparent motion of 
the celestial sphere ; and if the oscillations were capable of continu- 
ing for twenty-four hours, the trace of their plane would perform 
during the same period an entire revolution about the vertical projec- 
tion of the point of suspension. 

These are the ideal conditions under which the motion of rotation 
of the globe would become immediately evident to observation. Still, 
in reality we are obliged to take a point of support upon a moving 
surface ; the rigid attachments of the upper extremity of the wire of 
the pendulum cannot be withdrawn from the influence of the diurnal 
motion, and it appeared at first sight that the motion communicated 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 87 

to the wire and to the mass of the pendulum would alter the direction 
of the plane of oscillation. But M. Foucault has succeeded theo- 
retically in ascertaining what has since been confirmed by experiment, 
that provided the wire of the pendulum be round and homogeneous, 
it may be made to turn round upon itself with tolerable rapidity in 
either direction without sensibly influencing the position of the plane 
of oscillation, so that the experiment which we have just described 
would perfectly succeed at the pole. This remarkable independence 
of the plane of oscillation and of the point of suspension, is a mechani- 
cal phenomenon dependent upon the inertia of matter, which may be 
rendered evident in another form by means of a very simple experi- 
ment, which led M. Foucault to the discovery. After having fixed 
upon the arbor of a lathe, and in the direction of its axis, a round 
and flexible rod of steel, he set it in vibration by moving it from its 
position of equilibrium and leaving it to itself. He thus produced a 
plane of oscillation, which, by the persistence of the visual impressions, 
was clearly delineated in space ; and he remarked, that on turning 
round with the hand the arbor which formed the support of this vi- 
brating rod, the plane of oscillation was not disturbed, but always re- 
tained the same direction in space. 

Returning to the pendulum, the phenomenon which is in its greatest 
simplicity at the pole, becomes complicated, although continuing to 
exist, on descending towards our latitudes. In fact, in proportion as 
we approach the equator, the plane of the horizon, which at the pole 
was perpendicular to the axis of the earth, becomes more and more 
oblique to it; and the plumb-line, instead of turning upon itself, 
describes a more and more open cone, the summit of which is at the 
centre of the earth. The consequence is a retardation of the appar- 
ent motion of the plane of oscillation, which vanishes at the equator, 
previous to changing its direction in the other hemisphere; in fact, the 
angular displacement of the plane of oscillation is equal to the angular 
motion of the earth in the same time, multiplied by the sine of the 
latitude. This motion of the plane of oscillation of a simple pendulum, 
whereby it appears to turn round the vertical line in the same 
direction as the stars, and which would cause it to complete an entire 
revolution in twenty-four hours at the pole, and a fraction of thia 
revolution proportional to the sine of the latitude of the plane where 
the experiment is made, is a purely geometrical phenomenon, the 
explanation of which can be given by simple geometry as has been 
done by M. Foucault. This was remarked by M. Poinsot at the 
meeting of the academy on the 25th of February, on suggesting, in 
support of his opinion, a new experiment to be made by M. Foucault. 

We shall now show the manner in which M. Foucault has proceeded 
to determine the import and probable magnitude of the reality of 
the phenomenon which he had so well anticipated. We borrow the 
description of his experiment from the extract which he has given 
of it in the Comptes Rendus of the Academy. 

" In the vaulted roof of a cellar, a strong piece of cast iron was firmly im- 
bedded to afford support to the point of suspension, which emanates from the 
centre of a small mass of tempered steel, the free surface of which is perfectly 
horizontal. The suspending wire consists of steel strongly hardened by the 



88 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

action of the draw-plate; its diameter varies from 6-10ths to ll-10ths of a milli- 
meter; it extends to the length of two meters, and to its lower end is attached a 
sphere of brass turned ;md polished; and which, moreover, was hammered so 
that its centre of gravity should coincide with its centre of form. This sphere 
weighed live kilogrammes ; and a sharp prolongation was fixed to it, apparently 
forming a continuation of the suspending wire. 

"When it is wished to make the experiment, the first thing to be done is to 
put an end to the torsion of the wire, and the rotatory oscillations of the sphere. 
Then, for the purpose of displacing it from its position of equilibrium, it is 
enclosed in a noose of silk thread, the free extremity of which is attached to 
some fixed point in the wall, at a small height above the ground. According to 
the length given to this thread, the displacement of the pendulum and the mag- 
nitude of the oscillations which it may be wished to communicate to it, are 
arranged arbitrarily. In general, in these experiments, the oscillations at the 
beginning comprised an arc of from fifteen to twenty degrees. Before proceeding 
further, it is requisite to deaden by some obstacle gradually withdrawn, the. 
oscillating motion still exercised by the pendulum while restrained by the thread 
and suspending wire. As soon as the pendulum has acquired a state of rest, 
the silk thread is burnt at some point of its extent, the noose which enclosed the 
sphere falls to the ground, and the pendulum, obeying the sole force of gravity, 
is set in motion, and exhibits a long succession of oscillation, the plane of which 
soon experiences an appreciable displacement. 

"At the end of hah' an hour, this displacement is such as to be obvious; but 
it is more interesting to examine the phenomenon more closely, so as to be 
satisfied of the continuity of the effect. For this purpose, a vertical point is 
made vise of : a kind of style mounted on a support which is placed upon the 
ground, so that during its to and fro movement, the sharp appendage at the 
base of the pendulum, when it reaches the extremity of its arc of oscillation, 
almost grazes the fixed point. In less than a minute, the exact coincidence of 
the two points ceases to exist, the oscillating point becoming constantly dis- 
placed towards the left hand of the observer, indicating that the deviation of the 
plane of oscillation takes place in the same direction as the horizontal component 
of the apparent motion of the celestial sphere. The mean magnitude of this 
motion, compared with the time occupied in its production, shows conformably 
to the indications of theory, that in our latitudes the horizontal track of the 
plane of oscillation does not complete an entire revolution in twenty-four hours. 

" To the politeness of M. Arago, and to the intelligent zeal of our able instru- 
ment maker, M. Froment, who has so actively seconded me in the execution of 
this undertaking, I am indebted for being able to repeat this experiment upon a 
larger scale. Taking advantage of the lofty transit-room of the Observatory, I 
have been enabled to give a iength of eleven meters to the wire of the pen- 
dulum. The oscillations are thereby rendered longer and slower, so that 
between two consecutive returns of the pendulum to the starting point, a 
sensible deviation towards the left becomes clearly perceptible." — JBibliotkeque 
Universelle de Geneve, Mars, 1851. Philosophical Magazine, !N"o. 7. 

On May 9th, a paper on the subject was communicated to the 
Royal Institution, by the Rev. Baden Powell, M. A., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., 
who observes : 

The experiment alluded to has been the subject of so much popu- 
lar notice at the present time, that it would be needless to go into a 
particular description of its nature and object. If fully verified, the 
result would, however, hardly amount to any more palpable proof to 
the senses than other astronomical phenomena afford ; in this case, 
as well as in those, the conclusion is equally derived from reasoning 
on the actual appearances. 

An idea of such an effect seems to have occurred long ago, and 
is mentioned in a paper in the Phil. Trans., 1742, No. 468, by the 
Marquis de Poli, in the course of some observations on the pendulum 
of a different kind. He remarks, " I then considered (adopting the 
hypothesis of the earth's motion) that in one oscillation of the 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 89 

pendulum, there would not be described from its centre perfectly one 
and the same arc in the same plane ;" but he does not pursue the 
subject, as being foreign to his immediate object. 

It appears also (see Comj)tes JRenchis, 1851, No. 6) that in 1837 
Poisson had hinted at such an effect, but supposed it of insensible 
amount. 

To some minds, difficulties present themselves in the first instance, 
which are easily removed by a few simple illustrations. In the first 
place, the deviation from parallelism to itself, of the meridian of any 
place, during the rotation of the earth, is a simple geometrical ques- 
tion easily determined, and the inclination expressed by a trigonome- 
trical formula. In the next place, the independence of the motion 
of the pendulum, notwithstanding that the point of support is carried 
along with the earth in its rotation, and that the whole seems to 
form a part of the earth, is a point easily elucidated by very simple 
experiments, in which the vibration of a small pendulum is seen to 
continue parallel to itself notwithstanding a motion given to the point 
of support ; the effect being in fact only a simple consequence of the 
coexistence of two motions communicated to a body at the same 
time. A beautiful apparatus, lent by Mr. Bishop for showing this, 
was exhibited on the present occasion. 

The experiment originally made by M. Foucault was repeated and. 
confirmed under the inspection of M. Arago, and other eminent 
scientific men, with all due precautions, in Paris;* as also at Ghent, 

* One of the arrangements at Paris was as follows:— To the centre of the dome 
of the Pantheon a fine wire was attached, from which a sphere of metal, four or 
five inches in diameter, was suspended so as to hang near the floor of the 
building. This apparatus was put in vibration after the manner of a pendulum. 
Under, and concentrical with it, was placed a circular table, some twenty feet in 
diameter, the circumference of which is divided into degrees, minutes, &c, and 
the divisions numbered. Now, it can be shown by the most elementary principles 
of mechanics, that, supposing the earth to have the diurnal motion upon its axis 
which is imputed to it, and which explains the phenomena of day and night, &c, 
the plane in which this pendulum vibrates will not be affected by this diurnal 
■potion, but will maintain strictly the same direction during twenty -four hours. 
In (his interval, however, the table over which the pendulum is suspended will 
continually change its position in virtue of the diurnal motion, so as to make a 
complete revolution in about 30h. 40m. Since, then, the table thus revolves, and 
the pendulum which vibrates over it does not revolve, the consequence is, that a 
line traced upon the table by a point projecting from the bottom of the ball will 
change its direction relatively to the table from minute to minute, and from hour 
to hour ; so that, if such point were a pencil, and paper were spread upon the 
table, the course formed by this pencil would form a system of lines radiating 
from the centre of the table ; and the two lines formed after the interval of one 
hour would always form an angle with each other of about 11^ degrees, bein^- (he 
21th part of the circumference. Now, this was rendered actually visible to the 
crowds which daily flocked to the Pantheon to witness this remarkable experi- 
ment. The practised eye of a correct observer, especially if aided by a proper 
optical instrument, might actually see the motion which the table has in common 
with the earth under the pendulum between two successive vibrations. It was, in 
fact, apparent that the ball, or, rather, the point attached to the bottom of the 
ball, did not return precisely to the same point of the circumference of the table 
after two successive vibrations. 

M. J. Guyot, several years since, performed a similar experiment, upon which 
Professor Powell observes : — The recent experiment of M. Foucault having 



90 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Brussels, and elsewhere, In England, besides the public repetitions 
at the Russell, London and Polytechnic Institutions,* by Dr. Roget, 
Mr. Bishop, and Mr. Bass, the experiment has been tried at York by 
Professor Phillips ;f and at Bristol, by Mr. Bunt, with careful atten- 
tion to all the circumstances likely to ensure the avoidance of sources 
of error, and to procure precise results. At the Royal Institution 
on the present occasion, the experiment was exhibited under two 
modifications, by Dr. Bence Jones and by Mr. Bass. Other observers 
have also repeated it in various places, especially at Dublin, where 
Messrs. Haughton and Galbraith, Fellows of Trinity College, have 
pursued the research with all imaginable precautions, and have 
obtained results somewhat different from those of other observers. 
According to nearly all the other experiments, the rate of deviation 
continued uniform ; according to Messrs. Haughton and Galbraith, 
it varied ; and they seem to have been the only observer's who have 
watched through a complete revolution, the time of which was 
observed to be 28 h 26 m . 

excited so much attention, it seems remarkable that an equally striking one 
devised and tried by M. J. Guyot, in 1836, should have been passed over or 
forgotten. That gentleman observed, that as a falling body deviates to the east, 
a long plumb-line ought to do the same. This experiment he performed in the 
dome of the Pantheon at Paris with a plumb-line about 172 feet long, and deter- 
mined the deviation to be 4J millim. in 57 metres. His mode of experimenting 
was by small balls, one at the point of suspension, the other at the weight, whose 
images, strongly illuminated and reflected in a basin of mercury placed below, 
were viewed from above, and found to coincide when the eye was laterally distant 
4| from the upper ball. The experiment might probably be simplified without the 
trouble of illumination, by making the suspension from a fine passed across a 
small circular aperture in a flat roof, the Ught coming through which would 
probably give a sufficiently light image in the mercury below. The effect is also 
stated to be sufficiently perceptible with much less length than that above 
stated. — Proceedings of the British Association at Ipswich, 1851. 

* Dr. Bachhoffner illustrated the experiment at the Polytechnic Institution, by 
the following apparatus : — Fixed to the floor was a circular table divided into 360 
degrees, and of 16 feet diameter north and south, supposed to rotate with the 
earth ; while a ball 28 lb. weight, depending from an iron girder by a wire 45 feet 
long, vibrated over its surface. The plane of vibration apparently never changed ; 
but the rotation of the table was visible by the alteration of the degrees, and the 
removal of small portions of a sandbank in the centre of the table by the point of 
the ball in its transit. 

t The arrangement was made by Mr. Cooke in the north-western tower of the 
Minster, over the " ringing floor," which was graduated for the purpose. The pen- 
dulum weight was suspended by a wire, 52 feet long, and was made to commence 
its vibrations in a north and south direction. In experiments of this kind, it is 
important to avoid irregularities of motion, twist of the suspending wire, and the 
rotation of the pendulum ball. All this was accomplished, and the weight swung 
with perfect steadiness in its original sidereal plane, while the earth revolving 
below it and leaving it behind, carried the meridian line in which the pendulum 
was set to swing gradually and imperceptibly away, till at the end of one hour of 
mean time, this meridian differed from the line described by the pendulum on the 
floor 13 degrees. By calculation for the latitude of York, the deviation ought to 
have been a little above 12 degrees. The excess is probably due to the effect of 
currents, and for very delicate results this may require glass screens to the 
pendulum; but nothing could be more satisfactory than the general character of 
the mechanical proof afforded by this experiment, that the earth turns round on 
its axis. 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 91 

The sources of probable error are numerous and not easy to be 
effectually guarded against. The most formidable, perhaps, is the 
extreme difficulty of causing the pendulum to vibrate truly in one 
plane, and to prevent its motion in a narrow ellipse. When this 
takes place, the arc is considerable, the direction of the major axis 
is continually changing, owing to a well-known mechanical cause 
(see Herschel's Outlines of Astronomy, p. 444) ; but this deviation is 
always in the same direction as that of the original motion of the 
pendulum, and consequently changes when that direction is changed. 
The true deviation may be distinguished from this, in that it is always 
from east to west, independently of the direction of the original 
impulse ; and the ball always passes accurately through the centre in 
every oscillation, whereas in the former case it never does. 

For great accuracy, a variety of other precautions are requisite, as 
to the perfect freedom of suspension, guarding against currents, &c. ; 
it is, however, possible that the elliptic deviation may oppose that 
due to the earth's rotation, while the latter may manifest itself in 
spite of the former. 

It is extremely probable that many of the public repetitions may 
have been affected by these causes of error ; yet some of those referred 
to have been made by men of so much eminence and experience as 
observers, as to render it highly improbable that they should not 
have been sufficiently guarded against every source of fallacy. 
The accordance of many of the results at different places within fair 
limits of error, is also a strong argument in favour of their accuracy 
and trustworthiness. 

The rates of deviation for one hour as determined at different 
places do not seem to be more discrepant than would accord generally 
with the differences of latitude. The experiment at Paris gave 
about 11° 30', at Bristol 11° 42', at Dublin rather more than 12°, 
at York about 13°. 

To apprehend the theoretical principle, it is necessary to take into 
account, — 1st, the simple inclination of two successive positions of the 
meridian of a place to each other after any interval of time ; 2ndly, 
the independence of the motion of the ball of the pendulum, of the 
rotation of the point of support ; and 3rdly, that the ball, though free 
in this sense, is not however wholly free, being continually drawn 
down by gravity in a direction continually changing (relatively to the 
original direction of vibration) as the earth revolves. Hence, though 
from the second cause the ball would have a tendency always to 
preserve a motion parallel to its original motion, and thus to deviate 
regularly from the meridian, it will (from the third cause) not preserve 
this exact parallelism, but will take an intermediate direction. The 
exact determination of this direction cannot be made on any general 
considerations, but must be the result of detailed mathematical 
investigation. 

Thus, in general, in any illustrative or analogous case, so long as 
the axis of vibration continues parallel to itself, the arc of vibration 



92 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

will continue parallel to itself ; but if the axis do not continue parallel, 
the direction of the arc of vibration will deviate. This distinction has 
been laid down and illustrated experimentally by Mr. Wheatstone. 

The investigation, as pursued by M. Binet (Comptes Bendus, 1851, 
Nos. 6, 7), as well as by other mathematicians, is primarily founded 
on the method long since proposed by Euler, of resolving the rotatory 
motion of one point on the earth's surface into two ; one about the 
vertical of that point, the other about an axis at right angles to it ; 
of which the latter is the part effective in determining the direction 
of gravity on the pendulum, and is proportional to the sine of the 
latitude of the point. 

M. Binet makes this general theorem the foundation of an analytical 
investigation, in which the conditions of the motion of the pendulum 
generally are expressed by certain differential equations, the integra- 
tion of which conducts him to certain expressions, which, when sim- 
plified by the consideration of limiting the vibration to small arcs, 
gives the azimuthal velocity uniform in the direction from E. to W., 
and in a simple proportion to the sine of the latitude ; giving there- 
fore the deviation for one hour in the latitude of Paris about llf c , 
and the time of a complete revolution 32 h 8 m . An investigation has 
also been made independently by the astronomer royal, leading to 
very nearly the same result. 

Other mathematical solutions bave also been proposed by Dr. Day, 
of Bristol, and by Mr. J. R. Young (late Professor of Mathematics at 
Belfast). The latter gentleman has obtained as a consequence of his 
investigations one remarkable result, which he states thus : — 

" The arc of the circular rim of the table subtended by the angle of 
deviation at its centre, is always (in one revolution of the earth) 
exactly equal to the difference in length of the two parallels of latitude 
described by the centre and extremity of the meridional diameter of 
the table." (See Mechanics' Magazine, May 3 and 10, 1851.) 

The lucid and able illustrations of the subject given by Professor 
Sylvester have thrown much light on the explanation. 

Modifications of the principle have been suggested by M. Chasles, 
on the idea of the difference of rotatory velocity between any two 
points on the same meridian ; which difference, insensible as it might 
seem to be for the minute length of a vibration, he shows will in 
successive vibrations become sensible. This idea is nearly the same 
as that announced by Laplace (Mecanique Celeste, vol. iv. c. 5), who 
infers a deviation in the plane of a projectile fired in the direction of 
the meridian. The same idea has been discussed also by other mathe- 
maticians, and has been further carried out by M. Poinsot, who has 
suggested, that if two balls suspended by separate strings, hanging 
together in contact, and consequently both partaking in the velocity 
of rotation of that point of the earth, were to be suddenly separated 
by releasing a spring placed between them, and at first confined by 
a string, they would then show the difference of velocity belonging to 
points on the earth at that distance apart, and would consequently 
revolve round the vertical. (See Comptes JRendus, 1851, No. 14.) 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 93 

A beautiful variation of the experiment has been suggested by M. 
Bravais {Comptes Benches, 1851, No. 6), in which a perfectly circular 
motion is communicated to a pendulum (by a peculiarly ingenious 
contrivance), the time of whose revolution will be different according 
as its direction conspires with or opposes that of the earth. 

If all torsion in the thread could be got rid of, a ball simply sus- 
pended and furnished with an index in its equator would be seen to 
rotate. But the torsion destroys the effect. This is the suggestion 
of M. Baudrimont {Comptes Rendus, 1851, No. 8). 

But by far the most complete idea, not only of the general principle, 
but of the precise law of the sine of the latitude, is obtained from the 
beautiful apparatus constructed by Mr. Wheatstone; in which the 
pendulum is replaced by the vibrations of a coiling spring, the axis of 
which can be placed in any required inclination . or latitude with 
respect to a vertical semicircular frame, which is made to revolve 
about its vertical i-adius; and the direction of the vibration is seen to 
change in a degree proportioned to the sine of the latitude or inclina- 
tion; as for example, for lat. 30 the sine = \ ; consequently, if 
the vibration be originally in the meridian, when the meridian has 
revolved 180°, the deviation = 180° X k — 90°, or is at right angles 
to the meridian. 

This apparatus was exhibited at the lecture, and is described in the 
Philosophical Magazine, No. 7, p. 572. 

Upon the whole, the experiment is one of high interest and 
importance : some descrepancies or difficulties in the different views 
taken of the theory as well as in the observed results, seem to indicate 
that the subject, however apparently simple, has not yet been tho- 
roughly worked out, and to point to the desirableness of further 
repetitions of the experiments, if possible in vacuo, and with increased 
precautions, as well as to a revision of the dynamical and analytical 
processes, by which possibly any seeming difficulties may be cleared up. 

Prof. C. Piazzi Smyth, in Jameson's Journal, No. 101, observes : — 
The pendulum experiment of Foucault, starting on the easily demon- 
strated principle, that the plane of vibration of a simple pendulum is 
.independent of any smooth and equable motion either of translation 
or rotation of its point of support, and showing that the apparent 
change of the direction of the 'plane of vibration of such a pendulum, 
as compared with any fixed object on the earth, is the consequence 
really of the latter's motion of translation and rotation, such a 
capital experiment was received with the greatest enthusiasm by all 
thinking men. 

One man, however, there is, who, having recently written a work 
to prove that the earth stands still, and that the sun is only two feet 
in diameter, was not a little put out by the recent discoveries ; and 
has got up an experiment to prove, dogmatically, that the world does 
not rotate ; and it must be allowed that the legion of experimenters 
who have started up to repeat and to testify to Foucault's experiment, 
have offered the enemy too many weak points which might reasonably 
be attacked. 



94 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Now, though the principle involved may be perfectly sound in 
itself, still, in trying it practically, many errors may arise, and render 
it as difficult for the multitude to repeat, as the Daguerreotype fixa- 
tion of the images of the camera obscura, or some of Dr. Young's 
beautiful and paradoxical experiments on the Interference of light. 

Mr. Airy, therefore, has been of great service to the cause, by 
stepping out in his peculiarly clear and practical manner, and demon- 
strating in a paper read at the Royal Astronomical Society of London, 
what effect will follow from a pendulum not describing a straight line 
exactly, which no free pendulum can do perfectly, but an oval not 
differing very much therefrom. And he shows that if a pendulum 
52 feet long (which performs its double vibration in 8 seconds) 
vibrates in an ellipse whose major axis is 52 inches and minor axis 6 
inches, the line of axis will perform a complete revolution from this 
cause in 30 hours nearly. Also, that if a common seconds pendulum 
(which performs its double vibration in 2 seconds) vibrates in an 
ellipse whose major axis is 4 inches and minor axis y^th inch, the line 
of axis will perform a complete revolution from this cause in 30 hours 
nearly; the direction of rotation of the line of the axis being the 
same as the direction of revolution in the ellipse. He likewise shows 
that errors in the point or mode of suspension, or the wire passing 
through a somewhat oval halo, or being unequally shaped on different 
sides, may cause an apparent revolution of the plane of vibration ; 
though this may be eliminated by making two sets of experiments 
and changing the commencing azimuth by 45°. 

These numbers and facts should be laid to heart by all who under- 
take to exhibit the rotation of the earth, and they should not presume 
to say that this residual quantity has been revealed, until they have 
corrected their apparatus for such innate and necessary imperfections 
as produce results so similar in appearance to those which they are in 
search of. 

Mr. W. Little has communicated to the Illustrated London News, 
No. 481, the following simple experiment illustrating the rotation of 
a table or plane placed on the surface of the earth : — 

" Fill a small basin or cup nearly full with water, on which float a round piece 
of paper about the size of a crown-piece, the paper having a line ruled across it 
to better indicate the result. Then place over the top of the cup a teaspoon, or 
any other straight body, in such a direction that when the cup is taken up by the 
hand it shall point to the person holding it. Now, let the person holding the 
cup in one or both hands turn round, or revolve on his own axis. The result 
will be most striking, and the paper will evidently appear to turn round. What 
does all this show ? 

" The person holding the cup represents the axis of the earth. The cup itself 
represents a table or plane on the earth's surface; the spoon represents the 
meridian of the same plane, constantly pointing to the pole of the earth's axis: 
whilst the piece of paper represents the pendulum. But the experimenter will 
probably say the piece of paper evidently revolves, whilst the cup or table, with 
the meridian, remains stationary, or at least is constantly pointing in the same 
direction. The paper or pendulum does not revolve in the sense imagined: 
if it turned on its centre, the line ruled across it would not point constantly in 
the same direction, but should alternately point to every part of the room. Now, 
instead of taking the cup in the hand and turning round with it, let it be turned 
round on its axis as it stands on the table. The paper will remain stationary, 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 95 

and the line drawn across it will constantly point in one direction. In the latter 
case there is nothing paradoxical: the cup is actually turned round and the 
paper is fixed; but, as regards the motion of the paper on its centre both 
cases are alike; the only difference being that in the former the cup has two 
motions — one in a large circle or orbit and the other on its centre, the paper 
partaking of the orbital motion only — whilst in the latter case the cup ia 
made to turn on its axis, whilst the paper remains stationary. But if it is not the 
paper or pendulum, it must be the spoon and cup — representing a table placed 
on the surface of the earth, which revolves. The rationale is simply this: 
the water in the cup being quite free, and almost without friction, remains sta- 
tionary; consequently the paper floating on its surface partakes of its immo- 
bility: the fact of the line across the paper being always in the same direction, 
or in planes parallel to each other, is evidence of this. What deviation takes 
place in the position of the paper arises from the friction between the water 
and the surface of the cup, which tends to give the water a circular motion with 
itself. 

1 The foregoing experiment is not intended strictly to show the motion of a 



table placed at latitudes intermediate between the pole and the equator, it 

" ,'ing with the earth, like 
friction, will apparently have a circular motion, whilst, in fact, it is the earth's 



simply exhibits how a body revolving with the earth, like a pendulum, without 



surface which revolves, not only round the axis of the earth, but also round the 
axis of its own plane; and it is this latter revolution that gives the apparent 
circular motion to the pendulum." 

At the meeting of the British Association, Prof. Walker read a 
paper " On the Influence of the Earth's Magnetism on the Pendulum 
of Foucault." 

Prof. Chevallier gave a brief explanation of the motion of the pen- 
dulum as indicating the diurnal motion of the earth ; and exhibited 
a little instrument for its illustration, which had been recently re- 
gistered. 

Dr. Tyndall stated that since it was well known that revolving motions 
excited electric currents, and since it had been lately discovered by 
Prof. Faraday that the entire mass of the oxygen of the atmosphere 
was subject to such important diamagnetic changes, — perhaps it might 
be found that some electric current, excited by the motion of the pen- 
dulum itself, may be the origin of the curious oscillation of the revolv- 
ing motion of the pendulum as it approached the magnetic meridian. 
He had shown experiments to members of the Section in this very 
room in which the vibratory motion of pieces of metal was instanta- 
neously arrested, as if by magic, in opposition to their inertia by the 
diamagnetic action caused by even two small cells of Grove's battery. 

Prof Wartmann stated that the idea occurred to him of the possi- 
bility of electric currents being excited by the motion of a pendulum, 
and that he had insulated a long pendulum, and made the prolonga- 
tion of the wire suspending the pendulum one electrode, and caused 
the pendulum itself, each vibration, to complete and break the cir- 
cuit, — but a delicate electrometer interposed in the circuit was not 
found to be in any degree affected. — Athenceum, No. 1238. 

Dr. Tyndall, in a note to the Athenceum, makes the following cor- 
rection of the above: — "The notion that the oscillating pendulum 
was influenced by diamagnetism was Prof. Chevallier's, — not mine. 
I expressed my belief that diamagnetism has no measurable influence; 
but I thought it very possible that electric currents might be induced 
in the oscillating mass, which, acted on by the earth's magnetism, 



98 TEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

nication upon some observations of singular Movements of the Fixed 
Stars. It seems that at Trieste, Jan. 17, 1851, between 7 and 8 o'clock, 
p.m. before the rising of the moon,when the star Sirius was not far from 
the horizon, it was seen to perform a remarkable series of eccentric 
movements. It rose and sank, moved left and right, and sometimes 
seemed to move in a curved line. The observers were Mr. Keune, a 
student in the upper class of the Gymnasium, and Mr.Thugutt, a saddler, 
both certified to be reliable persons. The family of the latter also beheld 
the phenomena. Mr. Keune, with his head leaned immovably against 
the wall, saw Sirius rise in a right line above the roof of a neigh- 
bouring house, and immediately again sink out of sight behind it, 
and then again appear. Its motions were so considerable that for 
some time the beholders thought it was a lantern suspended by a 
kite. It also varied in brilliancy, growing alternately brighter and 
fainter, and now and then being for moments quite invisible, though 
the sky was perfectly clear. As far as it is known, this phenomena 
has been remarked but twice before: once in 1799 from the Peak of 
Teneriffe by Von Humboldt himself; and again nearly fifty years 
later, by a well-informed and very careful observer, Prince Adalbert 
of Prussia. 



APPARATUS FOR MAKING ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS BY MEANS OF 
ELECTRO-MAGNETISM. 

This apparatus has been exhibited to the British Association, and 
described by G. P. and R. F. Bond, of the Cambridge (U.S.) obser- 
vatory. It consists of an electric break-circuit clock, a galvanic battery 
of a single Grove's cup, and the spring governor, by which uniform 
motion is given to the paper. Two wires pass from the clock, one 
direct to the battery, and the other, through the break-circuit key 
used by the observer, and through the recording magnet, back to the 
battery. The length of the wire is of course immaterial. When the 
battery is in connexion, the circuit is broken by the pallet leaving 
the tooth of the wheel, and is restored at the instant of the beat of 
the clock, which is, in fact, the sound produced by the completion of 
the contact restoring the circuit, — the passage of the current being 
through the pallet and the escapement- wheel alone. With the ex- 
ception of the connecting wires, and the insulation of some parts, 
the clock is like those in common use for astronomical purposes. Se- 
veral forms have been proposed by different persons, for interrupting, 
mechanically, the galvanic circuit at intervals precisely equal. In 
the present instance the clock is of the form proposed by Mr. Bond. 
Prof. Wheatstone, Prof. Mitchell, Dr. Locke, Mr. Saxton, and others 
have contrived different modes of effecting this object: — the former 
several years since, but for a purpose distinct from the present. The 
cylinder makes a single rotation in a minute. The second marks 
and the observations succeed each other in a continuous spiral. 
When a sheet is filled, and it is taken from the cylinder, the second 
marks and observations appear in parallel columns, as in a table of 
double entry, the minutes and seconds being the two arguments at 



NATUEAL PHILOSOPHY. 99 

the head and side of the sheet. The observer with the break-circuit 
key in his hand or at his side, at the instant of the transit of a star 
over the wire of a telescope, touches the key with his finger. The 
record is made at the same instant on the paper, which may be at 
any distance, many hundred miles if required, from the observer. It 
is a well-established fact, that not only may observations be increased 
in number by this process, but that the limits of error of each indi- 
vidual result are also narrowed. As far as comparisons have yet been 
made, the personal equation between different observers, if not en- 
tirely insensible, is at least confined to a few hundredths of a second. 
It is through the facilities and means furnished by the Coast Survey 
Department of the United States, under the superintendence of Dr. 
A. D. Bache, that individuals there have been enabled to bring to its 
present stage the application of electro-magnetism to the purposes of 
geodesy and of astronomy, it having been at the expense of that 
department, and frequently by its officers, that nearly all the experi- 
ments have been conducted. — Athenaeum, No. 1236. 

THE WIND AND THE MOON. 

The Astronomer Royal has communicated to the Royal Society a 
paper "On the Relation of the Direction of the Wind to the Age of the 
Moon, as inferred from Observations at the Royal Observatory, Green- 
wich, from 1840 November to 1847 December." 

The author states, that in a voyage to Shetland, in the year 1849, 
he heard allusions to the belief entertained generally by Norwegian 
seamen, that a northerly wind may always be expected about the 
time of new moon. The expression of this belief was so positive, 
and the implication of the interests of the persons entertaining it 
was so distinct, that it appeared to him extremely probable that 
there was some physical foundation for it. At the first convenient 
opportunity he therefore took measures for discussing, with refer- 
ence to this question, the directions of the wind at the Royal Ob- 
servatory, during a period of rather more than seven years, as ascer- 
tained from the records of Ostler's self-registering anemometer. He 
extended the research so far as to enable any one to judge whether 
there is any probable relation between any direction of wind and any 
age of the moon. 

The collection and summation of the numbers was effected under 
the immediate superintendence of Mr. Glaisher; and great pains were 
taken to establish such checks on the operation that error is con- 
sidered to be almost impossible. 

The general result is contained in a table subjoined to the paper. 
This exhibits the number of hours during which the wind blew in 
each of sixteen equal divisions of the azimuthal circle, and also the 
number of hours of sensible calm, in the period extending (with very 
small interruptions) from 1840 November to 1847 December, arranged 
in reference to the days of the moon's age. The author remarks, 
that while this table shows that there is great uncertainty in the 
verification of an empirical law, even from nearly ninety lunations, 

H2 



98 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

nication upon some observations of singular Movements of the Fixed 
Stars. It seems that at Trieste, Jan. 17, 1851, between 7 and 8 o'clock, 
p.m. before the rising of the moon, when the star Sirius was not far from 
the horizon, it was seen to perform a remarkable series of eccentric 
movements. It rose and sank, moved left and right, and sometimes 
seemed to move in a curved line. The observers were Mr. Keune, a 
student in the upper class of the Gymnasium, and Mr.Thugutt, a saddler, 
both certified to be reliable persons. The family of the latter also beheld 
the phenomena. Mr. Keune, with his head leaned immovably against 
the wall, saw Sirius rise in a right line above the roof of a neigh- 
bouring house, and immediately again sink out of sight behind it, 
and then again appear. Its motions were so considerable that for 
some time the beholders thought it was a lantern suspended by a 
kite. It also varied in brilliancy, growing alternately brighter and 
fainter, and now and then being for moments quite invisible, though 
the sky was perfectly clear. As far as it is known, this phenomena 
has been remarked but twice before: once in 1799 from the Peak of 
Teneriffe by Von Humboldt himself; and again nearly fifty years 
later, by a well-informed and very careful observer, Prince Adalbert 
of Prussia. 



APPARATUS FOR MAKING ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS BY MEANS OF 
ELECTRO-MAGNETISM. 

This apparatus has been exhibited to the British Association, and 
described by G. P. and R. F. Bond, of the Cambridge (U.S.) obser- 
vatory. It consists of an electric break-circuit clock, a galvanic battery 
of a single Grove's cup, and the spring governor, by which uniform 
motion is given to the paper. Two wires pass from the clock, one 
direct to the battery, and the other, through the break-circuit key 
used by the observer, and through the recording magnet, back to the 
battery. The length of the wire is of course immaterial. When the 
battery is in connexion, the circuit is broken by the pallet leaving 
the tooth of the wheel, and is restored at the instant of the beat of 
the clock, which is, in fact, the sound produced by the completion of 
the contact restoring the circuit, — the passage of the current being 
through the pallet and the escapement-wheel alone. With the ex- 
ception of the connecting wires, and the insulation of some parts, 
the clock is like those in common use for astronomical purposes. Se- 
veral forms have been proposed by different persons, for interrupting, 
mechanically, the galvanic circuit at intervals precisely equal. In 
the present instance the clock is of the form proposed by Mr. Bond. 
Prof. Wheatstone, Prof. Mitchell, Dr. Locke, Mr. Saxton, and others 
have contrived different modes of effecting this object: — the former 
several years since, but for a purpose distinct from the present. The 
cylinder makes a single rotation in a minute. The second marks 
and the observations succeed each other in a continuous spiral. 
When a sheet is filled, and it is taken from the cylinder, the second 
marks and observations appear in parallel columns, as in a table of 
double entry, the minutes and seconds being the two arguments at 



NATUKAL PHILOSOPHY. 99 

the head and side of the sheet. The observer with the break-circuit 
key in his hand or at his side, at the instant of the transit of a star 
over the wire of a telescope, touches the key with his finger. The 
record is made at the same instant on the paper, which may be at 
any distance, many hundred miles if required, from the observer. It 
is a well-established fact, that not only may observations be increased 
in number by this process, but that the limits of error of each indi- 
vidual result are also narrowed. As far as comparisons have vet been 
made, the personal equation between different observers, if not en- 
tirely insensible, is at least confined to a few hundredths of a second. 
It is through the facilities and means furnished by the Coast Survey 
Department of the United States, under the superintendence of Dr. 
A. D. Bache, that individuals there have been enabled to bring to its 
present stage the application of electro-magnetism to the purposes of 
geodesy and of astronomy, it having been at the expense of that 
department, and frequently by its officers, that nearly all the experi- 
ments have been conducted. — Athena; um. No. 1236. 



THE WIND AND THE MOON. 

The Astronomer Royal has communicated to the Royal Society a 
paper "On the Relation of the Direction of the Wind to the Age of the 
Moon, as inferred from Observations at the Royal Observatory, Green- 
wich, from 1840 November to 1847 December." 

The author states, that in a voyage to Shetland, in the year 1849, 
he heard allusions to the belief entertained generally by Norwegian 
seamen, that a northerly wind may always be expected about the 
time of new moon. The expression of this belief was so positive, 
and the implication of the interests of the persons entertaining it 
was so distinct, that it appeared to him extremely probable that 
there was some physical foundation for it. At the first convenient 
opportunity he therefore took measures for discussing, with refer- 
ence to this question, the directions of the wind at the Royal Ob- 
servatory, during a period of rather more than seven years, as ascer- 
tained from the records of Ostler's self-registering anemometer. He 
extended the research so far as to enable any one to judge whether 
there is any probable relation between any direction of wind and any 
age of the moon. 

The collection and summation of the numbers was effected under 
the immediate superintendence of Mr. Glaisher; and great pains were 
taken to establish such checks on the operation that error is con- 
sidered to be almost impossible. 

The general result is contained in a table subjoined to the paper. 
This exhibits the number of hours during which the wind blew in 
each of sixteen equal divisions of the azimuthal circle, and also the 
number of hours of sensible calm, in the period extending (with very 
small interruptions) from 1840 November to 1847 December, arranged 
in reference to the days of the moon's age. The author remarks, 
that while this table shows that there is great uncertainty in the 
verification of an empirical law, even from nearly ninety lunations, 

H2 



100 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

it seems very distinctly to negative the asserted law which gave rise 
to the inquiry. 

DOES THE MOON INFLUENCE THE WEATHER? 

From remote ages a traditionary opinion has prevailed among the 
rude — and civilized too— people of all nations, that the Moon influ- 
enced the Weather. A few years ago, the French astronomers 
reported against this opinion as a fallacy, and the question was 
thought to be settled ; but in the July number of the American 
Journal of Science and Arts, Mr. J. W. Alexander contributes a 
short article on meteorological coincidences, in which he states as the 
result of a long-continued series of observations, " that the third day 
before the new moon regulated the weather on each quarter-day of 
that lunation, and also characterized the general aspect of the whole 
period. Thus, if the new moon happened on the 26th of May, 1851, 
the term day was the 21th ; the weather on which the 24th of May 
determined was to be on the 26th of May, and on the 3rd, 11th, and 
19th of June, the quarter-days respectively of that lunation." This 
i3 an important discovery, and shows that the influence of the moon 
is appreciable, contrary to the generally-received opinion among the 
learned. — Mechanics' Magazine. 



RISE AND FALL OF THE BAROMETER. 

Mr. W. H. B. Webster, in a paper read to the British Asso- 
ciation, shows that there is a compensation and reciprocation of 
temperature going on at distant places on the earth at the same time 
and from time to time ; that the direction of the wind, is determined 
by the relative rise and fall of the barometer, the current of air 
setting from the place where it stands high towards those where it 
stands low ; and that heat and cold are the great moving causes in 
these changes, and not evaporation and condensation. These views 
were illustrated by several examples of the comparative heat and cold 
of the same days in polar regions and in London, and the course of the 
wind in tropical and temperate, arctic and equatorial places, — and 
the manner in which these facts corroborated Mr. Webster's views 
was pointed out. 



NEW MODE OF DETERMINING THE QUANTITY OF HYGROMETRIC 
MOISTURE IN THE AIR. 

Dr. Andrews, in a paper read to the British Association, states 
that he has found, by experiment, that several powders when well 
dried will rapidly, effectually, and completely take up the moisture of 
damp air passed through them, — as perfectly as the fused chloride of 
calcium, which is too troublesome in the making, preserving, and 
using for common use. For instance, he has found that well-dried 
black oxide of manganese — and a still more universally obtainable 
substance, powdered alabaster or sulphate of lime, as dried and pre- 
pared by plasterers or by those who make casts — being enclosed in a 
small syphon, a measured bulk of air passed through either, at a very 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 101 

quick or at the slowest rate, will be so effectually deprived of all its 
hygrometric moisture, that another syphon filled with coarser frag- 
ments of fused chloride of calcium gains no weight sensible to a 
balance which turned with the one-thousandth part of a grain, — the 
measured portion of damp air being in succession drawn through the 
syphon containing the alabaster and that containing the fused 
chloride of calcium. The apparatus contrived by Dr. Andrews con- 
sists of a gasometer, whose bell is attached as a counterpoise to the 
weight of a Dutch clock sufficiently heavy to work it. By this, a 
measured volume of air is drawn through a tube leading from the 
open air through the syphon containing the absorbent powder, which 
is attached to it by collars of caoutchouc; so that after the air has 
passed through, the syphon can be readily detached and weighed, and 
the gain of weight by the absorption of the moisture thus deter- 
mined. In this way, he is able in widely various hygrometric states 
of the air to test the indications of Daniell's and other hygrometers, — 
to determine the correct relation between the depression of the wet 
bulb and the dew point, — and even to use the apparatus itself as a 
simple integrating hygrometer, by which the total quantity of vapour 
contained in a measured volume of air drawn through the apparatus, 
say during twelve hours, at a uniform rate, may be actually deter- 
mined by weight. 

ACTION OF WAVES. 

The dynamic force exerted by Sea Waves is greatest at the crest of 
the wave before it breaks, and its power in raising itself is measured 
by various facts. At Wasberg, in Norway, in 18*20, it rose 400 feet; 
and on the coast of Cornwall, in 1843, 300 feet. There are likewise 
cases showing that waves have sometimes raised a column of water 
equivalent to a pressure of from three to five tons to the square foot. 
It has also been proved that the velocity of the waves depends on 
their length ; that waves of from 300 to 500 feet in length, from crest 
to crest, travel with a velocity of from 20 to 27f miles an hour; and 
this, whether they are 5 or 54 feet in total height. Waves travel 
very great distances, and are often raised by far-off hurricanes, 
having been felt simultaneously at St. Helena and Ascension, though 
600 miles apart ; and it is probable that ground-swells often originate 
at the Cape of Good Hope, 3000 miles distant. Nor do waves exert 
their force at or near the surface only; one instance being mentioned 
where a diving-bell at the depth of eight fathoms was moved 5 feet 
laterally, in calm weather. The motion of "shingle" depends on the 
direction in which the surf strikes the shore, which is influenced by 
the direction of the wind ; and this is shown, from observations on the 
French coast, to be in the ratio of 229 days from western quarters, to 
132 days from eastern quarters. — A. G. Findlay, on Artificial Break- 
waters. 



TIDAL STREAMS OF THE ENGLISH CHANNEL AND GERMAN OCEAN. 

Capt. F. W. Beechey has continued his Report upon the Tidal 



102 YExVR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

phenomena of the Irish sea and the English channel, in 1848, in the 
following observations, communicated to the Royal Society by Pro- 
fessor Airy. 

As the simultaneous turn of the stream throughout the channel is 
a point of considerable interest and entirely new, the author takes 
considerable pains to point out the methods by which this important 
fact was ascertained, and refers to the observations kept on board the 
light vessels along the coast, and to others made at various important 
stations ; and whenever any contradictory evidence appears, the cause 
of the discrepancy is inquired into and explained. It was found, for 
instance, in a port of the north sea, near the node referred to by 
Dr. Whewell, that there was a retardation of an hour in the turn of 
the stream ; and, upon an investigation as to the cause of this delay, 
it is seen to be owing to the stream running round the Texel and 
entering the north sea at a time when the channel-stream had ceased ; 
but as soon as the channel- stream acquired sufficient strength, it 
speedily drove the Texel stream back and confined it to its proper 
limits. In the English channel also a similar discrepancy is ob- 
servable near the coast of France ; but this also the author considers 
to be fully accounted for by causes incidental to that part of the 
channel, and not to be of sufficient consequence to derogate from the 
character ascribed to the general motion of the water throughout the 
strait. 

A reference is made to the erroneous opinions which have hitherto 
been entertained with respect to the motion of the streams of our 
channels; and the author concludes his paper by explaining his views 
as to the manner in which the turn of the stream is rendered simul- 
taneous by the rapid rise of the combined wave in the centre of the 
strait, and expresses a hope that he has satisfactorily shown from the 
observations, that throughout the English channel and north sea the 
movement of the stream may safely be referred to a common 
standard. This, it is considered, will be of great importance to 
navigation ; as thus the seaman's progress through these moving 
waters will be freed from the numerous and perplexing references he 
was before obliged to make, and which too often — and, it is to be 
feared, in many instances too fatally — caused the tides to be wholly 
disregarded. All uncertainty as to the effect of the stream will 
henceforward, it is expected, be obviated by a simple reference to a 
tide-table. 



ON MOORING SHIPS IN REVOLVING GALES. 

Colonel Sir William Reid, in a paper read to the British 
Association, has explained this subject, which he had overlooked, 
until his attention was drawn to it by Sir James Dombrain, who 
commands the Revenue Vessels on the Coast of Ireland. 

" He informed me (says Sir W. Eeid), that after studying the first work I had 
published on the Law of Storms, he observed, that when he let go his right hand, 
or starboard bower anchor the first, and afterwards the left hand, or port bower 
anchor, in gales on the coast of Ireland, veering from south-east by south, to 



NATUEAL PHILOSOPHY. 103 

west, the cables twisted, or fouled, as the vessels swung round to the veering 
wind, — and this observation led him to change all his best bower anchors from 
the starboard to the port-side of his vessels. This would generally be the rule on 
the coast of Ireland. But these remarks led me to consider what the rule should 
be on either side of the centre of a progressive revolving gale, and whether it 
would not be different in the southern hemisphere, in which gales revolve in the 
opposite way to what they do in the northern hemisphere. I may here explain 
that when two cables are laid out with anchors from the head of a ship, it becomes 
very difficult to weigh anchor with only one crossing in the cables, and impossible 
to do so with a double cross, called an elbow ; and hence the importance of riding 
at anchor without crossing, or folding the cables, when ships are moored. 
(Colonel Reid illustrated his paper by diagrams.) The first diagram is intended 
to represent a whirlwind gale, 800 or 1000 miles in diameter, moving on a north- 
east course, and supposed to be approaching the British Islands, but with its 
centre on the Atlantic ; and such gales are the most frequent on the British 
coasts. In such a gale as is here represented, the wind on the British coast 
would set in between east and south, and veer by the south to the west. If a 
ship were to come to anchor with a single anchor, with the wind at south-east, 
she would at first swing to the north-west, head to wind as in the diagram As the 
whirlwind gale moves onwards in the direction of Norway, and as the wind veers 
towards the south, the ship would swing towards the north, and whilst swinging, 
by letting go the anchor No. 2 from the starboard bow, she would be moored as 
in the figure. By inspecting the diagram it will be seen, that had the starboard 
anchor been first let go, and afterwards the port anchor, the cables would cross. 
But if the port anchor be first let go, the ship would ride with what is called open 
hawse. The next diagram shows that the rule first mentioned would not hold 
good in cases where a ship comes to anchor at the setting in of a whirlwind gale, 
and happens to be on the opposite side of the gale's centre to that just described ; 
as, for example, in the north-east storms of the Atlantic coast of North America, 
in which the wind veers from north-east to north and north-west. In this case, 
if the port anchor were to be the first let go, and afterwards the starboard anchor, 
the cable would foul or cross: and therefore the starboard anchor should in this case 
be the first let go, to ride with open hawse, as will be best understoodby considering 
the diagram. If a whirlwind storm were moving northward, with its centre 
skirting the coasts of Holland, the British islands would be in the left-hand side 
of the storm, — when the starboard anchor should be the first let go. I have made 
two other diagrams to show what the effect of the veering of the wind would be 
south of the equator. From these diagrams we see, that ships will ride with 
open hawse by letting go the port bower anchor first, when in the right-hand 
side of a cyclone or whirlwind gale ; and that they will ride with open hawse by 
letting go the starboard anchor first, in the left-hand side of a cyclone, both in 
the northern and southern hemispheres, notwithstanding their counter-movement 
north and south of the equator. I have been here only endeavouring to point 
out general principles, which would require to be modified by seamen according 
to local circumstances. For example, tides by creating currents sometimes cause 
ships to swing against the wind. In a paper read before this association thirteen 
years ago, I ventured to point out that meteorology had been studied in far too 
circumscribed a sphere, and that nations should combine to study the atmo- 
spheric laws. Acting on this principle, a very important step has recently been 
taken by the American minister, Mr. Abbott Lawrence, and Viscount Palmerston, 
towards putting the consuls of the American and British nations^ throughout the 
globe in communication with each other for the furtherance of meteorological 
investigations. It is proposed that the consuls shall aid their respective navies, 
both public and commercial, in collecting meteorological facts. Instructions to 
this effect have been sent by Lord Palmerston to about 200 British consuls, and 
in those instructions it is stated — ' You will transmit to me, half-yearly, an abstract 
of the information you may have obtained, with such remarks as may suggest 
themselves to you. If you can add diagrams to show the tracks of any remark- 
able storms, they will greatly add to the value of the reports; and as it is of 
importance to circulate as widely as possible information as to storm tracks, you 
should encourage the publication of such information in newspapers and 
periodical works.' If these instructions be properly carried out, they will prove 
of high value to meteorological science. 
The progress hereafter to be made in the study of the atmospheric laws will in 



104 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

a great degree depend upon periodical publications widely circulating informa- 
tion from as many points on the surface of the globe as it is possible to obtain it. 
It has been mainly through the instrumentality of the Bengal Asiatic Society's 
Journal giving wide publicity to Mr. Piddington's labours, that we are indebted 
for our present knowledge of the cyclones of the Indian seas. It had been 
supposed that hurricanes were unknown at the Cape Verde Islands, yet a very 
severe one occurred there on the 3rd of last September. By the consular reports 
forwarded to me by Lord Palmerston, together with reports from some vessels 
which encountered it, I find that the storm alluded to came from the eastward, 
and passed over the Cape Verde Islands on a westerly course as a whirlwind 
storm. The Cape Verde Islands are in latitude about 16" and 17° north. It was 
afterwards encountered in lat. 28°, long. 32°, which shows that it took from the 
Cape Verdes a north-west direction. If it continued its progress, it must have 
passed to the westward of the Azores. In such an inquiry, negative proof, if I 
may here apply the term, is of great value ; and it has been satisfactorily proved 
from reports called for by the Foreign Office, that the storm did not pass between 
the groups of islands on the eastern side of the Atlantic. But the reports from 
Mr. Carew Hunt, consul at the Azores, lead to the belief that it did pass on the 
12th of September to the westward of his position. I have alluded to this Cape 
Verde Islands hurricane in order to show the great importance of having 
observations over extensive spaces of the globe, in studying the atmospheric 
laws." — Athenaeum, No. 1236. 



PHYSICAL CONFORMATION AND CLIMATOLOGY. 

Professor Guyot, in explaining the manner in which Physical 
Conformation modifies the Climate and meteorological phenomena of 
different sections of the Continent says : — " The passage of the Rocky 
Mountains is made through an interruption in the chain of mountains, 
or a pass as it is called. The ascent to this point is so gradual, that 
the emigrant does not realize that in going through this pass he is 
7500 feet above jthe level of the sea; neither does he see any 
mountains. The road through this pass is higher than any of the 
roads over the Alps; yet the climate is mild, and vegetation is to 
be found in all directions. In the Alps and on the mountains of 
South America, at the same elevation, perpetual snow covers the 
landscape. The snow-line on the Rocky Mountains is 11,400 feet 
above the level of the sea, which is more than 3000 feet higher than on 
the Alps, and nearly 6000 feet higher than on some of the mountains 
of South America." The Professor attributes this difference of 
temperature partly to the gradual slope of the ground, and partly to 
the extreme dryness of the Rocky Mountains. — New York paper. 

ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 

On the 13th of August, 1851, the Hon. Sackville West, Mr. Albert 
Smith, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Philips, and Mr. Vansittart, succeeded in 
gaining the summit of Mont Blanc. The four first-named gentlemen 
left Chamouni at 7 o'clock on Tuesday morning, the 12th, with 
sixteen guides and an equal number of porters and volunteers ; and 
crossing the Glacier du Bossons after some hairbreadth escapes, got 
to the Grands Mulets rocks about four in the afternoon. These are 
peaks of granite rising from the eternal snows, 9000 or 10,000 feet 
above the level of the sea, and form the resting-places of adventurers. 
Here the party made a fire and dined, remaining until midnight. 
They then started once more, by the light of lanterns, along the 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 105 

upper part of the Glacier de Tacconay, and arrived at the large 
level waste of snow, called the Grand Plateau, about four in the 
morning, just as day broke. This spot has a melancholy celebrity 
attached to it, through the fatal accident which occurred there in 
1820, when an avalanche swept away Dr. Hamel's party, and four 
guides were lost in the crevices of the glacier. After a great deal of 
trouble amongst the ice cliffs and precipices, they scaled the Mur de 
la Cote — an almost perpendicular wall of ice, some hundred feet 
high — by cutting more than two hundred footsteps in it, with axes; 
and arrived on the highest part of the summit of Mont Blanc at half- 
past nine in the morning, where they remained for about half an 
hour, in the enjoyment of a boundless and unclouded view. In 
descending, they got back to the Grands Mulets by one o'clock in 
the afternoon. The most dangerous part of the journey now com- 
menced, from the extreme heat of the sun having thawed much of the 
snow on the Glacier du Bossons, which threatened every minute to 
give way beneath them. They were, however, all tied together with 
cords, and but for this precaution one of the party would have been 
lost. They ultimately arrived in safety, at seven o'clock in the 
evening, at Chamouni. — Obligingly communicated by Mr. Albert 
Smith, who has contributed a detailed narrative of the ascent, to 
Blachwood's Magazine for Jan. 1852. 

TRANSFORMATION OF HYPOTHESES IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE. 

Dr. Whewell remarks that new theories supersede old ones, not 
only by the succession of generations of men, but also by transfor- 
mations which the previous theories undergo. Thus, the Cartesian 
hypothesis of vortices was modified so that it explained, or was 
supposed to explain, a central force : and then the Cartesian philoso- 
phers tried to accommodate this explanation of a central force to the 
phenomena which the Newtonian principles explained; so that in 
the end, their theory professed to do all that the Newtonian one did. 
The machinery of voi-tices was, however, a bad contrivance to 
produce a central force; and when it was applied to a globe, its 
defect became glaring. Still, however, the doctrine of vortices has 
in it nothing which is absurd anterior to observation. The " nebular 
hypothesis" is a hypothesis of vortices with regard to the origin of 
the system of the universe, and is now held by eminent philosophers. 
Nor is the doctrine of the universal gravitation of matter at all 
inconsistent with some mechanical explanation of such a property; 
for instance, Le Sage's. We cannot say, therefore, that if the planets 
are moved by gravitation they are not moved by vortices. The 
Cartesians held that they were moved by both : by the one, because 
by the other. 

Like remarks may be made with respect to the theories of mag- 
netism and of light. — Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical 

Society. 

GEOMETRICAL principles of beauty. 

Mr. R. D. Hay has communicated to the Society of Arts a paper 



106 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

"on the Geometrical Principles of Beauty as applied to Architecture 
and the Human Form." This paper is a modification of one read 
before the physiological section of the British Association, at Edin- 
burgh. Mr. Hay holds that previous inquirers into the subject have 
erred in taking lineal dimensions as governing the proportions of the 
beautiful ; whereas they should be angular : — in other words, that the 
eye is more affected by direction than by distance. Several diagrams 
were exhibited applying this method to the human figure : — the con- 
struction of which had been accomplished as follows. — A fundamental 
angle is assumed (in the female figure 90°, in the male 108°), and is 
divided into one-half, one-third, one-fourth, one-fifth, one-sixth, one- 
seventh, and one-eighth. The height of the figure being taken on a 
centre line, lines are drawn from the top and at certain bottom points 
of the above-named angles; the intersection of which gives the breadth 
of the figure, and certain main points, — as the position of the pelvis, 
the os pubis, the clavicle, the ends of the hands, &c. The head is 
formed by combining a circle and an ellipse, — and the body by an 
ellipse, the position of the centres for which are governed by the in- 
tersections before spoken of. This cannot be made clear by descrip- 
tion. The skeleton figures had been drawn on the diagrams, which 
were constructed strictly without reference to anything but the theory, 
by Prof. Goodsir, and the coincidence was very remarkable. Be- 
tween the two meetings, Mr. H. Weigall undertook to test Mr. Hay's 
theory by examining actual skeletons, drawings of which he pro- 
duced, and, a slight allowance being made for the chance character 
of the skeletons to which access can be had, which are rarely selected 
as types of beautiful proportion, the agreement was very close. 



PEACTICAL GEOMETEICAL CURVES, AND CURVED CONIC SECTIONS. 

Me. J. Jopling has communicated to the Society of Arts a paper 
"On Practical Geometrical Curves, and on Discoveries in relation to 
Curved Conic Sections." On Mr. Jopling's system, it will be seen that 
curves are formed by the motion of two planes on each other ; the 
connexion of the planes being either by a point, or the combination 
of a point with a straight or circular line, or both. In this way, seven 
distinct methods are obtained — whence it is called the septenary sys- 
tem. Between all the curves drawn in this way a gradual connexion 
is perceived. In practice the planes are not used, but skeletons con- 
tain merely those parts of them which come into operation. Mr. 
Jopling has also discovered that the cardioicl, the conchoid of Nico- 
medes, are curved conic sections, produced by the intersection of a 
cone with a cylinder or a sphere. This was shown by the use of a 
hollow cone, which also showed the remarkable property possessed by 
the cone of changing completely the character of lines drawn on its 
surface. Mr. Penrose and Mr. Perigal exhibited their newly-invented 
machines for describing the logarithmic spiral and the retrogressive 
parabolae. In closing the meeting, the chairman hinted at the for- 
mation of a Kampographic Society as likely to result from the dis- 
cussion which had taken place. 



NATUEAL PHILOSOPHY. 107 

LAWS OF MAGNETISM. 

Dr. John Tyndall, of Marburg, has communicated to the Philo- 
sophical Magazine, No. 4, a memoir on this inquiry, the principal re- 
sults of which may be summed up as follows : — 

1. The mutual attraction of a magnet and a sphere of soft iron, 
when both are in contact, is directly proportional to the strength of 
the magnet. 

2. The mutual attraction of a magnet and a sphere of soft iron, 
when both are separated by a small fixed distance, is directly propor- 
tional to the square of the strength of the magnet. 

3. The mutual attraction of the magnet of constant strength and a 
sphere of soft iron is inversely proportional to the distance between 
the magnet and the sphere. 

4. When the distance between the magnet and the sphere varies, 
and a constant force opposed to the pull of the magnet is applied to 
the latter ; to hold this force in equilibrium, the strength of the mag- 
net must vary as the square root of the distance. 

I have, in conclusion, to express my deep sense of the kindness of 
Professor Knoblauch, who, during this investigation, permitted me 
to occupy three of his rooms, and placed his extensive and beautiful 
collection of apparatus entirely at my disposal. 

ON DIAMAGNETISM AND MAGNO-CEYSTALLIC ACTION. 

Dr. John Tyndall has communicated to the British Association, 
a paper upon the relation of Magnetism to Diamagnetism. " Five years 
ago," says Dr. Tyndall, ** Faraday established the existence of the force 
called diamagnetism, and from that time to the present, some of the 
first minds in Germany, France and England have been devoted to 
the investigation of this subject. One of the most important aspects 
of the inquiry is the relation which subsists between magnetism and 
diamagnetism. Are the laws which govern both forces identical? 
Will the mathematical expression of the attraction in the one case be 
converted into the expression of the repulsion in the other by a change 
of sign from positive to negative ?" 

The paper has been contributed to the Philosophical Magazine, No. 
10, to which the reader is referred for the details of the investigation. 
The following are given by the author, at the close of the contribu- 
tion, as the principal results of the investigation. 

1. The repulsion of a diamagnetic substance placed at a fixed dis- 
tance from the pole of a magnet is governed by the same law as the 
attraction of a magnetic substance. 

2. The entire mass of a magnetic substance is most strongly at- 
tracted when the attracting force acts parallel to that line which sets 
axial when the substance is suspended in the magnetic field ; and the 
entire mass of a diamagnetic substance is most strongly repelled when 
the repulsion acts parallel to the line which sets equatorial in the 
magnetic field. 

3. The superior attraction and repulsion of the mass in a particular 
direction is due to the fact, that in this direction the material parti- 



108 TEATl-BOOK OF FACTS. 

cles are ranged more closely together than in any other directions ; the 
force exerted being attractive or repulsive according as the particles 
are magnetic or diamagnetic. This is a law applicable to matter in 
general, the phenomena exhibited by crystals in the magnetic field 
being particular manifestations of the same. 

ATMOSPHERIC MAGNETISM. 

Professor Faraday has read to the Royal Institution a paper on 
this important inquiry. On a former evening it was shown that 
oxygen gas was magnetic, being attracted towards the poles of a 
magnet ; and that, like other magnetic bodies, it lost and gained 
in power as its temperature was raised and lowered, and that the 
changes occurred within the range of natural temperatures. These 
properties it carries into the atmosphere ; and the object, this even- 
ing, was to show how far they might be applied to explain certain of 
the observed variations of the terrestrial magnetic force. If a source 
of magnetic power be considered (as a magnet) it presents us with a 
system having polarity ; and if the parts which are called the poles 
be taken as representing the most concentrated condition of the 
polarity, then the contrary polarities, manifest externally in relation 
to the magnet, are perfectly definite, being exactly equal to each 
other. If the magnet be irregular in the dispositon of its force, still 
the same definite character of the sum of the contrary polarities holds 
good. External to the magnet those concentrations which are named 
poles may be considered as connected by what are called magnetic 
curves, or lines of magnetic force, existing in the space around. 
These phrases have a high meaning, and represent the ideality of 
magnetism. They imply not merely the directions of force, which 
are made manifest when a little magnet, or a crystal, or other sub- 
ject of magnetic action is placed amongst them, but those lines of 
power which connect and sustain the polarities, and exist as much 
when there is no magnetic needle or crystal there as when there is ; 
having an independent existence analogous to (though very different 
in nature from) a ray of light or heat, which, though it be present in 
a given space and even occupies time in its transmission, is absolutely 
insensible to us by any means whilst it remains a ray, and is only 
made known through its effects when it ceases to exist. The form of 
a line of magnetic force may vary exceedingly from a straight line 
to every degree of curvature, and may even have double and com- 
plicated curvatures impressed upon it. Its direction is determined 
by its polarity, the two changing together. Its powers are such, that 
a magnetic needle placed in it finds its place of rest parallel to it ; a 
crystal of calcareous spar turns until its optic axis is transverse to it ; 
and a wire which is unaffected when moved in or along it, has an 
electric current evolved the instant that it passes across it : by these 
and by other means the presence of the magnetic line of force and its 
direction are rendered manifest. The earth is a great magnet : its 
power, according to Gauss, being equal to that which would be con- 
ferred if every cubic yard of it contained six 1-pound magnets ; the 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 109 

sum of the force, therefore, is equal to 8,464,000,000,000,000,000,000 
such magnets. The disposition of this magnetic force is not regular, 
nor are there any points on the surface which can be properly called 
poles : still the regions of polarity are in high north and south lati- 
tudes ; and these are connected by lines of magnetic force (being the 
lines of direction), which, generally speaking, rise out of the earth in 
one (magnetic) hemisphere, and passing in various directions over the 
equatorial regions into the other hemisphere, there enter into the 
earth to complete the known circuit of power. A free needle shows 
the presence and direction of these lines. In London they issue from the 
earth at an angle of about 69° with the horizon (being the dip or incli- 
nation) ; and the plane in which they rise forms an angle of 23° W. 
nearly with true north, giving what is called west declination. 
Where the dip is small, as at the magnetic equator, these lines 
scarcely rise out of the earth, and pass but a little way above the 
surface ; but where it is large, as in northern or southern latitudes, 
they rise up at a greater angle, and pass into the distant realms of 
space, from whence they return again to the earth in the opposite 
magnetic hemisphere ; thus investing the globe with a system of 
forces like that about an ordinary magnet, which, wherever it passes 
through the atmosphere, is subject to the changing action of its mag- 
netic oxygen. There is every reason to believe that these lines are 
held in the earth, out of which they arise and by which they are pro- 
duced, just as the lines which originate in a magnet are held by it, 
though not in the same degree ; and that any disturbance from above 
affecting them, will cause a greater change in their place and direc- 
tion in the atmosphere and space above, than in the earth beneath. 
The system of lines of magnetic force around a magnet or the earth is 
related by a lateral tension of the whole, analogous in some degree to 
the lateral tension of lines of static electrical force ; both the one 
and the other being easily made manifest by experiment. The dis- 
turbance of the tension in one part is accompanied instantly by a dis- 
turbance of the tension in every other part ; for as the sum of the 
external powers of a system, unaltered at its origin, is altered and 
cannot be changed, so any alteration either of intensity or direction 
amongst the lines of force at one place, must be accompanied by a 
corresponding change at every other. So if a mass of soft iron on 
the east side of a magnet causes a concentration of the lines of force 
from the magnet on that side, a corresponding expansion or opening 
out of the lines on the west side must be and is at the same time pro- 
duced ; or if the sun, on rising in the east, renders all the oxygen of 
the air on that side of the globe less magnetic, and less able, therefore, 
to favour the transition of the lines of terrestrial force there, a greater 
number of them will be determined through the western region ; and 
even though the lines of force may be doubted by some as having a 
separate existence, such as that above assumed, still no error as to 
the effects on magnetic needles would in that case be introduced, for 
they, by experiment, would be and are the same. The power of a 
magnetic body, as iron or oxygen, to favour the transmission of lines 



110 TEAH-BOOK OF FACTS. 

of force through it more than other bodies not magnetic, may be ex- 
pressed by the term conduction. Different bodies, as iron, nickel, 
oxygen, conduct in various degrees, and not only that, but the same 
body, as iron or oxygen, conducts in different degrees at different 
temperatures. When space, ti'aversed by uniform lines of magnetic 
force, is occupied by a uniform body, as air, the disposition of the 
lines is not altei'ed ; but, if a better conducting substance than the air 
is introduced, so as to occupy part of the space, the lines are concen- 
trated in it, and drawn from other parts ; or if a worse conducting 
substance is introduced, the lines are opened out. In both cases the 
lines of force are inflected, and a small magnetic needle standing in 
them at the inflected part would have its direction changed accord- 
ingly. Experimental illustrations of these changes in direction are 
given in Mr. Faraday's paper in the Philosophical Transactions for 
1851, Part I., par. 2843, &c. Now this by the hypothesis is assumed 
to take place in the atmosphere. Supposing it all at mean tempera- 
ture, the lines of force would have the direction determined by the 
arrangement of the power within the earth. Then the sun's pre- 
sence in the east would make all the atmosphere in that region a 
worse conductor ; and as the sun came up to, and passed over, the 
meridian and away to the west, the atmosphere under his influence 
would bring up changes in direction ; it would, therefore, manifestly 
set a needle in a given latitude in opposite directions as it passed by ; 
and as evidently set two needles in north and south latitudes in op- 
posite directions at the same moment of time. As the night came 
on, and a temperature lower than the mean came up from the east 
and passed over, the lines of force would be inflected, and a reverse 
variation of the needle to that which occurred before would now take 
place. That natural effects of variation must be produced consequent 
upon the magnetic nature of oxygen and its daily variations of tem- 
perature, is manifest ; but whether they cause the observed varia- 
tions, or are competent to do so, is a question that can only be 
decided after very careful inquiry. Observations are now made on 
the surface of the earth with extreme care in many places, and these 
are collated, and the average or mean result, as to direction and in- 
tensity of the earth's force, ascertained for every hour and season ; 
and also many remarkable, anomalous, and extra results evolved. 
A theory of the causes of any or all of these variations may be exa- 
mined, first, by the direction which the varying needle does or ought 
to assume, and then by the amount of the variation. The hypothesis 
now brought forward has been compared with the mean daily varia- 
tion for all the months in the year at north and south stations, as 
Toronto and Hobarton, and at many others near to and far from the 
equator, and agrees in direction with the results observed far beyond 
what the author anticipated. Thus the paths described by the upper 
ends of free needles in the north and south hemispheres should be 
closed curves, with the motion in opposite and certain directions, and 
so they are : the curves described by needles in north or south lati- 
tudes should be larger in summer and smaller in winter, and so they 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. Ill 

are : a night or cold action should grow up in the winter months, and 
such is the case: the northern hemisphere ought to have a certain 
predominance over the southern, because of its superior temperature, 
and that is so : the disposition of land and water ought to have an 
influence, and there is one in the right direction : so that, in the first 
statement and examination of the hypothesis, it appears to be re- 
markably supported by the facts. All these coincidences are parti - 
cularly examined into and stated in the Philosophical Transactions 
already referred to. The next step will be to ascertain what is the 
amount of change in the conducting power of the air for given 
changes of temperature, and then to apply that in the endeavour to 
ascertain whether the amount of change to be expected is (as well as 
the direction) accordant with that which really occurs. — Aihenceum, 
No. 1229. 



POWERFUL MAGNET. 

A Horseshoe Magnet has been made for the Royal Institution, 
by M. Logeman, of Haarlem, according to the instructions of M. Elias, 
and was placed on the Society's table on March 7th, by Professor 
Faraday. Its weight is 0*98 of a pound, and it will carry above 271b. 
In the expression of the force of a horseshoe magnet deduced by 
M. Hsecker,* the power of a magnet of n kilogrammes weight is 
10*33 n $ ; in the present case the co-efficient, instead of being 10*33, 
is double that amount. — Athena'um, No. 1222. 



IDENTITY OF LIGHT, HEAT, ELECTRICITY, AND MAGNETISM. 

Dr. Goodman, in a paper communicated to the Royal Society, de- 
scribes the effects produced on a moderately sensitive galvanometer, 
by exposure to the sun's rays, observed by him during a period of 
four months, commencing Nov. 14, 1850. 

In conclusion, the author states that the results of these experi- 
ments evince to his mind more than ever the unify of force ; and that 
experimental evidence appears to justify the conclusion at which he 
has long since arrived, that there is one, only, universal force in nature, 
which is modified by the accidental and varied conditions to which it is 
subjected, but that its essential nature and characteristics are at all 
times unchangeably the same. — See the paper in the Philosophical 
Magazine, No. 13. 



ON THE CRYSTALLIZATION OF CYMOPHANE. BY M. EBELMEN. 

In 1847, I presented to the Academy of Sciences the description of 
the method by which I was enabled to prepare Cymophane, or Alu- 
minate of Glucina, in the crystalline state. The crystals were 
microscopic. Their specific gravity and their chemical composition 
agreed with the form as determinable with the microscope, so as to 
allow of their identification with the natural crystals. 

* See an interesting paper on M. Elias's Magnets, in the Year-book of Facts, 
1851, page 139. 



112 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Perfect crystals of cymophane are very rare in mineralogical collec- 
tions. It struck me that it would be a matter of great interest to 
mineralogists, to prepare this species in such crystals as might be 
easily determined and measured. I easily succeeded in this, by pro- 
longing the duration of the evaporation and modifying the composi- 
tion of the flux, in such a manner as to render it more liquid. The 
crystals which I obtained are from 5 to 6 millimetres in length. 
Sometimes they are simple, and present the facets m ra of the primi- 
tive prism, the facet g' well-developed, the base P, and the modifica- 
tion e', upon the edge of intersection of the facet g' , by the base. The 
angles which I measured are identical with those obtained by 
M. Descloiseaux in the crystals of M. De Dree's collection. The 
specific gravity of the artificial crystals is 3*759 ; that of natural 
cymophane is comprised between 370 and 3*80. A large number of 
macled crystals are found among the artificial crystals of cymophane ; 
the macles are identical either with those of the crystals from Brazil 
and Haddain, or those of the crystals from the Ural. Hence the arti- 
ficial crystals not only present the same primitive form and the same 
angles as the natural crystals, but even in their ordinary facets and 
the principal accidental crystallizations of the latter. On the addi- 
tion to the flux of 1 per cent, of bichromate of potash, crystals of 
cymophane are obtained, which are green by daylight, like those 
from the Ural. By candlelight they appear violet. — Comptes Rendus, 
May 12, 1851 ; Philosophical Magazine, No. 11. 



SYSTEMATIZATION OF COLOUR. 

The French Academician, M. Chevreul, has concluded his long and 
arduous task, mentioned in his work "On Colours." He has con- 
structed the painted porcelain tablets which have to serve as types 
for all colours, which M. Chevreul has systematically arranged in his 
chromatic tables. In this way it will be possible to point with pre- 
cision to any given colour, as we point to a number in logarithmic 
tables. M. C. has marked methodically in these tables the astound- 
ing number of 14,421 colours, and thus a perfect precision as to the 
classification of colour, its nuance and tone, become possible. For 
the sake of comprehending the value of these expressions, it is to be 
understood, that, according to the French philosopher, a coloured 
surface, red, yellow, blue, can only be modified in four different 
ways : — 

By the white, which, in rendering it more light, diminishes its 
intensity. 

By the black, which enfeebles its intensity by darkening (assom- 



By another colour which changes it without darkening it. 

By a colour, in fine, which changes it by rendering it more black. 

Accordingly, the tones of colour are the different degrees of inten- 
sity, which obtain from a mixture with black or white in different 
proportions. The ensemble of these tones M. Chevreul calls the 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 113 

gamme. The nuance is the modification, which any colour undergoes 
by the addition of another, which changes without darkening it. 

In the infinite variety of colours which Nature presents to us, M. C. 
has first chosen seventy-two simple colours, presenting each twenty 
tones, and comprising nine gammes of tones. The produce of the three 
quantities, seventy-two, nine, and twenty, is 12,960, to which we 
must add twenty-one resulting from the deperishment {degradation) 
of the black. 

After a long labour, prosecuted with the care and precision which 
characterize M. Chevreul, he has been able to complete the coloured 
and imperishable types, which have to serve as the basis of this clas- 
sification. — Builder, No. 430. 

PRISMATIC COLOUR OF THE DEW-DROP. 

In 1841, the "Rev. Dr. Scoresby devised a simple method of observing 
the resplendent light and colours of the Dew-drop, by aid of a pocket 
telescope ; the results of which are given in the Year-book of Facts, 
1842, p. 115. Dr. Scoresby has since communicated to Jameson's 
Journal, No. 99, his observation of two very marked and interesting 
varieties of the phenomenon : — 

" Observing in one or other of these methods, I have been quite charmed with 
the splendour of appearance of the dew-bespangled gossamer. Sometimes where 
the breadth of the web was considerable, most of the colours of the spectrum 
have been observed on the same surface, in regular and beautiful series ; and 
these colours made to shift or vanish, as in some optical experiments with polar- 
izing instruments, with surprising effects in beauty. 

"In cases where the spider's hues are not very compact, as in some observa- 
tions recently made at Gateshaw, near Kelso, the appearance of the highly 
illuminated minute globules of moisture was that of various strings of brilliantly 
coloured gems, disposed in radiating lines. Strings, as of the topaz, diamond", 
aquamarine, sapphire, emerald, and amethyst, were dispersed in splendid 
association over the surface, — whilst each series was, as if magically, altered into 
some other, by the slightest lateral movement of the eye of the observer. 

" In one case where there was a small and irregular web cast over a portion of 
the gravel of the carriage-drive before the house, the colours, which were rich in 
their clearness, were intermingled in splendid irregularity, as of a number of 
seed beads, formed of various precious gems, spread confusedly out upon an 
illuminated white ground. 

" In another case, and one, indeed, which was by no means of uncommon 
occurrence, the web of gossamer happened to be of a form and magnitude of 
surface, with an appropriate profusion of aqueous globules, which, when viewed 
in its proper position, and with a high degree of fllumination, could not fail to 
remind one, when contemplating the singular beauty of some of the most 
splendid clusters of stars as viewed by the gigantic telescope of the EarlofRosse! 
In an instance observed at Gateshaw so recently as September 25th, 1850, when 
various little patches of dew-covered gossamer were scattered about the grass of 
the lawn, and illuminated by a brilliant morning sun, — one of these nebulous- 
looking surfaces was examined of singular analogy, comparing small things with 
great, with the telescopic appearance of the magnificent nebula or star-cluster 
in the constellation of Hercules. Viewed when in the angle showing a highly 
illuminated surface of colourless light, it presented an aggregation as of ten 
thousand resplendent diamond-like points; and, as it so happened, with here and 
there a larger dew-drop, on the proximate grass, appearing almost in the glory 
of a star of the first magnitude ! As in the other cases, a slight alteration in the 
position of the eye changed the previous white light of the dewy gossamer into a 
succession of the richest qualities of reddish orange, orange, gold yellow, straw 
yellow, diamond-like white, green, purple or violet. At the same time the 

I 



114 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

blaze of white light of the adjoining grass-drop participated in the analogous 
changes ; sometimes, however, from its considerable size and nearness, present- 
ing a series of tints from red to orange and yellow, or even white, within the 
same individual globule." 

COLOURS OF THICK PLATES. 

Prof. Stokes has communicated to the Cambridge Philosophical 
Society, a paper on this subject — the system of Coloured Rings, 
discovered by Newton, which are formed on a screen when the sun's 
light is transmitted through a small hole in the screen, and received 
perpendicularly upon a concave mirror of silvered glass, placed at 
such a distance from the screen that the image of the hole is at the 
same distance from the mirror as the hole itself. 

Prof. Stokes has compared theory and experiment in various 
particulars, and has found the agreement perfect. It will be sufficient 
to mention here one result of theory, which is of great generality and 
of considerable elegance. It applies to the system of rings seen by 
reflexion in a mirror, either plane or curved, when a luminous point 
is placed anywhere near the axis, and the eye occupies any other 
position likewise near the axis. The result is as follows : — Join the 
eye with the luminous point, and likewise with its image, whether it 
be real or virtual, and find the points in which the joining lines, pro- 
duced if necessary, cut the mirror. Describe a circle having for 
diameter the line joining these two points. This circle will be the 
middle line of the bright colourless fringe of the order zero, and 
on each side of it the colours will be arranged in descending order. 

NEW COLOURED FRINGES. 

The Master of Trinity has communicated to the Cambridge 
Philosophical Society, a paper relative to a new kind of Coloured 
Fringes. He stated that he had, many years ago, remarked that if 
we hold a candle before a dusty looking-glass at a distance of six or 
eight feet, so that the image of the candle is near to that of the 
eye, the image of the candle is seen in the middle of a patch of 
coloured bars, which are perpendicular to the flame passing through 
the candle and the eye, normal to the looking-glass. This 
remark was communicated to M. Quetelet, and published by him. 
Attention has recently been drawn to this observation, at the 
Congress of Swiss men of science, held at Aarau; at which meeting, 
M. Mousson, of Zurich, pointed out the differences between the 
stripes noticed by Dr. Whewell, and the rings on specula observed 
by Fraunhofer. Among these differences are: — 1st, Fraunhofer's 
rings depend upon the first surface of the speculum, the stripes 
upon both; 2nd, the rings are not produced except the dust be 
particles of uniform size ; the stripes are produced by dust of irre- 
gular and various particles ; 3rd, the rings depend for their size on 
the size of the particles of dust ; the stripes do not. 

Some discussion took place as to the manner in which these stripes 
arise from the theory of interferences, and upon their relations to 
Newton's " colours of thick plates." 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 115 

DAGUERREOTYPES OF THE MOON. 

At the recent meeting of the British Association were shown 
Dagguerreotypes of the Moon, taken by Messrs. Whipple and Jones, 
of Boston, from the image formed in the focus of the great Equatoreal 
of the Cambridge (U.S.) Observatory. 

The Astronomer Royal said, that of course he felt the deepest 
interest in the subject of this communication. The principle of the 
method was entirely the discovery of the Americans, and Professor 
Bond had the merit of originating what he had no doubt would prove 
of the utmost importance in the practice of astronomy : for besides 
the distraction of the attention of the observer at present having to 
listen to and to count the beats of the clock, and having then to 
occupy many seconds in recording his observations when made, — he 
could not often repeat these observations at as short intervals as 
would be desirable. But by this method he might even repeat an 
observation within the compass of one second if requiped. It was also 
believed that there was a more direct connexion between the senses of 
Bight and touch, the senses that he required the aid of in this mode 
of observing, than there was between the senses of hearing and 
seeing, the senses called into united operation in the present mode of 
observing; and if this were so, what was at present known to prac- 
tical observers under the name of personal equation would be got rid 
of, — if not entirely, yet to a great degree. These and other consider- 
ations had made him determine to give this method of observing 
the most mature consideration and the fullest trial. He had a 
cylinder constructed of twenty inches length and one foot diameter, 
and of which a fair conception of the size might be formed when he 
stated that it would gauge to about a bushel. This cylinder he hoped 
to be able to cause to revolve with something of an approach to 
astronomical uniformity. For this purpose, it was his intention to 
dispense with the fly-wheel which regulated the motion in Mr. Bond's 
apparatus, and to depend on a large conical pendulum revolving in a 
circle, the diameter of which would be about equal to the arc of 
vibration of an ordinary seconds pendulum. This he intended should 
be a well-made mercurial compensating pendulum; and thus he 
hoped to be able to dispense with the clock used by Mr. Bond. The 
construction of the conical pendulum he proposed to use was also 
peculiar. He intended to take advantage of the principle of the 
chronometric governor of the steam-engine invented by a Prussian, 
and which the members of the Section might see at work in Mr. 
Ransome's factory ; but without such actual inspection, he feared he 
could not make himself understood in an attempt to explain this 
curious governor. Suffice it to say, that this governor was made to 
revolve by a be vil- wheel, which engaged another bevil- wheel attached 
to the governor, not directly, but through the intervention of a third, 
which worked upon a centre that was not entirely fixed. The moving 
of this intermediate wheel was made to work the valve which ad- 
mitted or shut off steam, and thus equalize the motion of the 
machine as the resistance varied. In the apparatus he proposed to 

I 2 



116 TEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

use, the resistance would occasionally vary from many causes, for 
instance, at the changing of the cylinder ; and as this would affect 
the rate of the clock, if not provided against, he proposed to use the 
principle of the foregoing governor, by causing it to produce a 
varying by moving further out or nearer to the fulcrum of a steel- 
yard a weight, which would thus increase or diminish, as was requi- 
site, the friction caused by a point connected with the steelyard on a 
wheel kept revolving by the machine. In this way he hoped to 
be able to produce a motion which under all changes to which the 
machine should be exposed would remain uniform to the extreme 
accuracy required. 

Mr. Bond exhibited Daguerreotypes of the moon, taken with the 
23-feet equatoreal of Cambridge (U.S.) Observatory. These Daguerreo- 
types were very beautiful, and admitted of being very considerably 
magnified. But Mr. Bond stated that the motion of the equatoreal, 
although very steady, was yet not sufficiently so to admit of their 
being examined by very high magnifying powers. 

Sir David Brewster stated that if these Daguerreotype impressions 
were taken on transparent sheets of gelatine paper, and so placed 
before a telescope as to subtend accurately thirty minutes of a 
degree, they would assume all the appearance of the moon itself. He 
had also to state that a discovery made by Mr. Fox Talbot within the 
last few days would greatly enhance the accuracy with which such 
Daguerreotypes as these could be produced. 



POLAEIZATION BY CAOUTCHOUC AND GUTTA PEECHA. 
BY PEOF. CHAS. G. PAGE, H.D. 

Gutta Peecha, when rolled into thin sheets or drawn into ropes, 
comports itself like a fibrous substance, which is not the case with 
Caoutchouc. A strip cut from a thin sheet of gutta percha may be 
stretched considerably in one direction, that is in a line with the 
fibre, but any attempt to stretch it across this line is followed at once 
by a rupture. It is not so with a sheet of caoutchouc, which will 
stretch equally well in all directions. On examination of thin sheets 
of these two substances — so far believed to be isomerical — a marked 
difference of texture is at once perceived. The caoutchouc gives little 
or no change of colour, while the gutta percha exhibits a beautiful 
spectacle. It appears to be built up of prisms of every variety of 
hue, and, as it were, fused into each other. It resembles more nearly 
some specimens of ice which I have examined than anything else. 
The caoutchouc and gutta percha must be kept under considerable 
tension during the examination. 

There is one mode, however, in which I have produced some fine 
figures by means of caoutchouc. The caoutchouc is made into little 
balloons in the following manner : — A very thin sheet is tied over the 
end of a tube of one-half inch bore, and the caoutchouc blown out 
into a ball and firmly tied just beyond the end of the tube with a piece 
of silk. The balloons can with a little practice be very conveniently 
made by the mouth. The caoutchouc is drawn over the open mouth, 
and by strong suction it is forced in, filling the mouth, when the lips 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 117 

and teeth are compressed over the outer portions so as to form a neck, 
which is at once twisted up by the fingers and secured with a string. 
The caoutchouc thus highly stretched becomes almost transparent ; 
and when viewed by polarized light, it gives, when in this constrained 
condition, a definite system of colours not unlike the figures produced 
in a circular piece of tempered glass. — Silliman's American Journal, 
January, 1851. 

POLARIZATION OF LIGHT REFLECTED BY GLASS. 

M. Arago has demonstrated by experiment that in two bundles of 
light reflected under angles differing equally more or less from the 
angle of polarization of the reflecting body, the ratios of the 
quantities of light polarized to the total quantity are sensibly the 
Bame. — See the details in Philosophical Magazine, No. 4. 



ACTION OF THE SOLAR BEAMS UPON GLASS. 

Prof. Faraday has exhibited to the British Association, a 
specimen of dark glass which had been sent to him by Mr. William 
Roxburgh, and which had been acted on in a curious manner, by 
the solar beams concentrated at the eye-piece of a telescope ' 
magnifying 100 times. It was the fourth or fifth dark glass eye pro- 
tector which had been used with similar results. A small portion of 
the surface of the glass, and to a slight depth below it of a conical 
shape, had been so altered by some peculiar action, as to be quite 
destructive to the correct transmission of the rays of light. A dark 
red glass in the same place had not been affected, but the heat 
passed through in such quantity as to be almost painful to the eye. 

NEW MICROSCOPIC ARRANGEMENTS. 

The following novelties have been submitted to the British Associ- 
ation, by their originator, Mr. C. Brooke. 

New Mode of Illuminating Opaque Objects under the highest powers 
of the Microscope. — A parallel pencil of rays is obtained by placing a 
camphine lamp (which, of all kinds of lamps, gives the most intense 
illumination) in the principal focus of a combination of two plano- 
convex lenses. This pencil is secured on the surface of a small para- 
bolic mirror, the vertex of which is truncated, so that the focus of 
the mirror may be about - l inch beyond the truncated edge. The 
rays which are converging to the focus are received on the surface of 
a small plane mirror which is attached to the bottom of the object- 
glass, so that the surface of this mirror may be nearly level with the 
lowest surface of the object-glass. All the rays of light which subtend 
any angle from that of the object-glass up to about 170° are thus ren- 
dered available for the illumination of the object ; which, as it is illu- 
minated by very oblique rays, must not be placed in a depression or 
cavity of any kind. 

New Arrangement for facilitating the Dissection and Draivinq 
of Objects placed under the Microscope. — Two short pieces of tube, one 
of them the size of the eye-piece, the other the same size as the body 
of the microscope, are attached at an angle of about 4° to the sides 



118 TEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

of a brass box containing a rectangular prism. The smaller tube en- 
ters the body of the microscope and the larger screws the eye-piece. 
The image that enters the eye is now inverted in a plane passing 
through the axis of the body and of the eye-piece; and in order to 
erect the image, a cap is placed over the eye-piece, to which is attached 
a small rectangular prism, having its axis in the plane in which the 
image is already inverted. This arrangement provides a very con- 
venient position of the eye when the hands are engaged in manipu- 
lating an object placed under the microscope. A rectangular prism has 
already been introduced into the body of the microscope by Machez; 
but as this was placed near the object-glass, it must, to a certain ex- 
tent, interfere with the definition of the objects. For the purpose of 
drawing, a small piece of parallel glass is substituted for the rectangu- 
lar prism placed in front of the eye-piece, through which the drawing- 
paper is seen directly through two opposite surfaces, and the object 
is seen by reflexion from an outer surface placed at an angle of about 
45° with the axis of the eye-piece. The image inverted by the first 
reflexion is again inverted in the same plane by the second ; and is, 
therefore, correctly represented in the drawing. 

Several members of the Section expressed their approval of these 
simple and effective contrivances ; and Sir D. Brewster said that there 
were physiological reasons which rendered these contrivances for en- 
abling a person to use the microscope with erect head important. 
When the eye was turned downwards, in the first place, the fluid 
which works the cornea, and which during ordinary vision is spread 
in a uniform film over the cornea by the action of the cornea, and is 
constantly draining downwards over the cornea in the intervals, col- 
lects, when the eye is placed downwards, in a lenticular-shaped mass 
on the very centre of the cornea, so as greatly to impede vision: — and, 
moreover, those little fragmentary portions of the crystalline lens, 
which, when it is breaking up, particularly in old age, become the 
elements of the muscce volitantes, — those which, in the erect position 
of the head by sinking down to the lower part of the lens, remain 
without interfering with vision, — these when the eye is turned down 
collect in what is then the lowest and central partof thelens in thedirect 
line of sight, and greatly impede the rays of light. — Athenaeum, No. 
1237. ' 

THE STEEEOSCOPE. 

The phenomena of vision have engaged the attention of our most 
acute philosophers ; and various have been the theories propounded 
to explain the result of single vision with a pair of eyes, which are 
of necessity under the influence of two impressions. The researches 
of Wheatstone have done more than those of any other man to place 
this phenomenon in a clear light. In his Stereoscope we survey two 
images viewed at the angle of reflexion converted into a solid body, — 
that is, a body conveying to the mind an impression of length, breadth, 
and thickness. This instrument has recently been modified by Sir 
David Brewster ; who, by cutting a lens into halves, and placing each 
half so as to represent an eye — the distance between them being 2£ 
inches — has very beautifully imitated the mechanical conditions of 



NATUEAL PHILOSOPHY. 119 

the eye. Such an instrument is used as a camera for photographic 
purposes ; and Daguerreotypes obtained in it, as we have seen them 
executed with great delicacy by Mr. Claudet, are examined under a 
similar instrument, the Binocular Stereoscope. The result is, a mimic 
reality of the most deceptive character. 

We have looked at views of the Crystal Palace and its varied 
wonders in this little instrument — which does not very much differ 
in appearance from an opera-glass — extending the whole length — 
every object represented in three dimensions, groups of figures, 
statues, &c. — which have been copied by the Daguerreotype, but 
copied at slightly different angles, to correspond with the difference 
between the two eyes, — and which, when looked at under ordinary 
conditions, present mere flat pictures, correct in perspective and 
light and shade. They become in the stereoscope beautifully raised, 
in the highest relief, standing out from the surface as perfect solids to 
the deceived sense. Mr. Claudet is actively engaged in applying this 
instrument to portraiture; and it is curious to survey a group of 
portraits in the stereoscope, each one standing apart from every 
other, and all exhibiting the rotundity of life. 

Professor Wheatstone has carried his inquiries a step further ; and 
in the invention of the Pseudoscope shown how the senses may 
convey false impressions to the mind.* — Athenceum, No. 1250. 

THE PHENAKISTICOPE AND THE STEEEOSCOPE COMBINED. 

Mb. J. Plateau, in the Bulletin de I'Acad. Royale de Belgique, 
vol. xvi., No. 7, mentions an idea communicated to him by Mr. 
Wheatstone, and which consists in combining the principle of the 
Stereoscope with that of the Phenakisticope. By means of the stereo- 
scope, an ingenious instrument invented by the physicist just named, 
(Mr. Wheatstone,) objects drawn perspectively upon plane surfaces 
in outline, appear, as is well known, to have three dimensions, the 
illusion is such, that it is absolutely impossible to divest oneself of it. 
Let us suppose, then, that we succeed, by the combination of two 
kinds of instruments, in adding this last effect to those of the Phena- 
kisticope ; when figures simply painted upon paper will be seen 
unmistakably in relief and in motion, and will thus present, in a 
complete manner, all the appearances of life. This will be the illusion 
of art carried to its highest degree. 

Now, the modification of the phenakisticope described in this note 
(see Philosophical Magazine, No. 71) is eminently fitted to realize the 
combination in question. It is known that the representation of an 
object in the stereoscope requires the simultaneous employment of 
two designs having a certain relation between them, and placed on 
the two sides of the apparatus ; it would suffice, therefore, to con- 
struct two transparent discs, such that the figures should have one to 
another the relation desired for the stereoscope; to fix these discs to 
two systems similar to that which we have described, and suitably 

* See the earliest notice of the Stereoscope, in the Year-book of Facts, 1839, 
p. 88. 



120 TEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

adapted to the two extremities of Mr. "Wheatstone's instrument ; and 
lastly, to arrange so that the two systems should have identically the 
same motion. This last condition is easily fulfilled, by fixing on a 
common axis furnished with a single winch the two-toothed wheels 
intended to turn the lower pinions of the two steel rods. 

Only one real difficulty presents itself, but it is considerable : this 
is to construct the figures of the two discs in such a manner that 
those of the one should have with those of the other the precise rela- 
tion which the stereoscope requires. Nevertheless, this may be 
surmounted, by employing a process for which we are also indebted to 
the inventive genius of Mr. Wheatstone. To obtain a couple of 
drawings adapted to give, in the stereoscope, the representation, not 
of a simple perspective in outline, but of an object having rounded 
forms, such as a statue, and that with the shades and lights, Mr. 
Wheatstone conceived the idea of procuring, by means of photography 
on paper, two projections of the object, by placing successively the 
photographs in two different positions, so that the two projections 
should have between them the necessary relation. Now, we might 
have executed in plaster, for example, the models of the sixteen 
modifications of the regular figure, the image of which it is desired to 
produce in the combined apparatus under consideration ; then take 
by means of the photographic apparatus a pair of drawings of each 
of these sixteen models; and lastly, place these drawings after 
suitable distortion on the two discs. Without doubt, this would be 
a tedious operation, and one which would require great care ; but 
we should be amply recompensed by the marvellous nature of the 
results. 



PHOSPHORESCENCE OF BODIES. 

Professor Draper, of New York, has communicated to the Philo- 
sophical Magazine, No. 2 (Fourth Series), a paper of experimental 
researches " On the Phosphorescence of Bodies," whence we obtain 
the following general conclusions : — 

1st. That the methods employed in these experiments are not suf- 
ficiently delicate to detect any increase of the dimensions of a phos- 
phorus while it is in a glowing state. 

2nd. No structural change can be discovered by resorting to 
polarized light ; but there is reason to believe, from the change of 
colour which certain bodies exhibit when the quality of shining is 
communicated to them, and from the manner that vapours condense 
on their surfaces, that such has actually taken place. 

3rd. That phosphorescence is attended with a minute rise of tem- 
perature. 

4th. That it is not necessarily connected with any electrical dis- 
turbance. 

On comparing these conclusions, it is obvious, that if the third be 
correct, there must necessarily be a change of volume ; and that the 
reason the dilatation is not discovered by direct experiment, is owing 
to the insufficiency of the means employed. 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 121 

The general definition given of phosphorescence is, that it is the 
extrication of light without heat (Gmelin). But these results show 
that such definition is essentially incorrect ; for, if the experiment be 
made with due care, a rise of temperature can be detected, though 
its absolute amount may be very small. 

With respect to the absolute quantity of light emitted by phos- 
phori, Professor Draper, from an experiment several times repeated, 
concludes that the intrinsic brilliancy of phosphori is very small ; a fine 
specimen of chloropkane, at its maximum of brightness, yielding a light 
three thousand times less intense than the flame of a very small oil- 
lamp. 

From certain experiments and considerations it is to be inferred, 
that there is an intimate connexion between temperature and phos- 
phorescence, which may be conveniently expressed in the following 
terms : — 

The quantity of light a substance can retain is inversely as its tem- 
perature. 

Again, this principle leads to the conclusion, that the quantity of 
light that a body can receive is directly as the intensity and quantity of 
Ught to which it has been exposed. 

In conclusion, Professor Draper is led to believe, that all the facts 
of phosphorescence can be fully explained on the principles of the 
communication of vibratory motion through the aether ; that, as upon 
that theory, an incandescent body, maintained at incandescence, 
would eventually compel a cold body in its presence to come up to 
its own temperature, by making its particles execute movements like 
those of its own, — so the sunshine, or the flash of an electric spark, 
compels a vibratory movement in the bodies on which its rays fall ; 
that these movements are interfered with by cohesion in the case ot 
solids, but that they are instantly established and almost as instantly 
cease in the case of gases and liquids ; that reducing the cohesion of 
a solid, by raising its temperature, permits a resumption of the 
movement ; and that the condition of opacity, either melantic or 
otherwise, is a bar to the whole phenomenon. 



PHOSPHORESCENCE OF CHALK STREAKS. 

The Phosphorescence of Streaks made with Chalk upon a warm 
Tile is brought forward by Mr. Napier, in the Philosophical Mag- 
azine, No. 3, as opposed to the views recently published by Professor 
Draper, of New York. It seems, however, to originate in a totally 
foreign cause. If the tile be placed on the cap of a gold-leaf electro- 
scope, the leaves diverge as soon as the streak is made. All writers 
on phosphorescence have carefully distinguished between the emis- 
sion of light by phosphorescence and by electricity. Thus, as Dr. 
Draper's paper states, a diamond rubbed on gold will emit light, but 
it will also shine after exposure to the sun. In the former case, it 
will attract a hair or other light body ; in the latter it will not. 
Whenever friction is required for luminosity, we may reasonably 
suspect electrical disturbance. Thus, two pieces of quartz or sugar, 



122 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

rubbed together, shine; and the electroscope shows one to be positive 
and the other negative. Quicksilver in an exhausted tube will emit 
a milky glow on the slightest motion — an experiment formerly de- 
scribed by Homberg as a phosphorus. Pieces of mica suddenly split 
asunder, a stick of sealing-wax snapped across, dry paper torn, or an 
air-gun discharged in the dark, produce light ; but none of these are 
cases of what is meant by phosphorescence. Mr. Napier's experi- 
ment belongs to the same class, and does not seem in any manner to 
bear on the views of Dr. Draper. — Philosophical Magazine, No. 5. 



SOLAR HEAT AND LIGHT. 

MM. F. De la Provostate and P. Desains have proved, that the 
relative quantities of Solar Heat reflected from different mirrors, both 
glass and metallic, correspond with the relative quantities of Solar 
Light reflected from the same mirrors ; and that the formulae developed 
by Fresnel for glass, and by M. Cauchy for metallic mirrors, apply 
equally to the calorific and to the luminous phenomena. — Philoso- 
phical Magazine, No. 6. 



AIR-BUBBLES FORMED IN WATER. 

At the recent meeting of the British Association, Dr. Tyndall 
showed, by a few simple experiments, that water falling in a con- 
tinuous column (which it always does for a certain distance), into 
another vessel of water, produces neither air-bubbles nor sound ; but 
that, as soon as the distance is so increased that the end 1 of the 
column becomes broken into drops, both air-bubbles and sounds, 
varying from the hum of the cascade and of the ripple to the roar of 
the cataract and of the breaker, were produced. That the end of the 
column of issuing water, although it only seems to waver, in conse- 
quence of a delusion arising from the effect of the rapid succession 
on the retina, was really composed of separate drops, the author said 
was proved by a very pretty experiment, — viz., by placing behind it 
a platina wire kept glowing by a galvanic battery. The continuous 
part of the wire was hidden ; but the portion behind the wavering 
end he said became separated into dots of light and spaces hidden by 
the drops. He also showed that lateral motions of bodies in water, 
when rapid enough, caused both bubbles and sounds; and he ac- 
counted for their production in both cases by the surface closing over 
the pit formed by the descending drops or laterally moving body : — 
the enclosed air is then carried forward, and at length ascending to 
the surface, bursts with the explosion which causes the sounds. — 
Athenaeum, No. 1238. 



thunder of waterfalls. 
Dr. Tyndall, in the Philosophical Magazine, No. 2, makes the 
following observations on the production of bubbles in connexion 
with the origin of the sound of agitated water : — " When the smoke 
is projected from the lips of a tobacco-smoker, a little explosion 
usually accompanies the puff; but the nature of this is in a great 



NATUBAL PHILOSOPHY. 123 

measure dependent on the state of the lips at the time, whether they 
be dry or moist. The sound appeal's to be chiefly due to the sudden 
bursting of the film which connects both lips. If an inflated bladder 
be jumped upon, it will emit an explosion as loud as a pistol-shot. 
Sound, to some extent, always accompanies the sudden liberation of 
compressed air. And this fact is also exhibited in the deportment of 
a jet. If the surface of the fluid on which it falls intersects its 
limpid portion, the jet enters silently, and no bubbles, as before 
remarked, are produced. The moment, however, after the bubbles 
make their appearance, an audible rattle also commences, which 
becomes louder and louder as the mass of the jet is increased. The 
very nature of the sound pronounces its origin to be the bursting of 
the bubbles ; and to the same cause the rippling of streams and the 
sound of breakers appear to be almost exclusively due. I have 
examined a stream or two, and in all cases where a ripple made itself 
heard I have discovered bubbles. The impaot of water against water 
is a comparatively subordinate cause, and could never of itself occa- 
sion the murmur of a brook, or the musical roar of the ocean. It is 
the same as regards waterfalls. Were Niagara continuous and with- 
out lateral vibration, it would be as silent as a cataract of ice. It is 
possible, I believe, to get behind the descending water at one place ; 
and if the attention of travellers were directed to the subject, the 
mass might perhaps be seen through. For in all probability it also 
has its ' contracted sections ;' after passing which it is broken into 
detached masses, which, plunging successively upon the air-bladdera 
formed by their precursors, suddenly liberate their contents, and 
thus create the thunder of the waterfall." 



THE PROBLEM OF SOUND. 

Peofessob Pottee, of University College, has communicated to 
the Philosophical Magazine, No. 2, p. 101, a paper which has pro- 
duced a considerable sensation in the scientific world : it is entitled 
I The Solution of the Problem of Sound, founded on the Atomic 
Constitution of Fluids." 

Sir Isaac Newton, investigating the expression for the velocity of 
sound, concluded from theory that the number of feet per second 
which sound travels in air of a given temperature and density should 
be a mean proportional between twice the number of feet which a 
body descends in vacuo in the first second of time, and the number 
of feet of altitude in an upright column of air of the given tempera- 
ture and density, whose weight would represent the pressure of the 
air upon the base of the column. This deduction was found not to 
agree with the results of observation and experiment, and Newton's 
method of arriving at it has been on good grounds objected to. The 
velocity found by his rule comes out about one-sixth part too small. 
Laplace gained great eclat by his correction of this theory, grounded 
upon the consideration of the sensible heat developed on the sudden 
condensation of air when in a state of sonorous pulsation, This ex- 
planation, however ingenious, has been held by many mathemati- 



124 YEATl-BOOK OP FACTS. 

cians and physicists to be untenable. Some even go so far as to say, 
that it would be equally valid to show that the formula of Newton 
gives too large a result, as to show that the result is too small. 
Mr. Potter states that he was an early disciple of the late Dr. Dalton 
in chemistry, and that he has always remained forcibly impressed by 
his great master insisting, in their lessons, on the necessity of con- 
sidering the change in the distances of the centres of the atoms of gases 
during their condensation and rarefaction, when the elastic force and 
the heat and cold developed were the subjects of study. He has 
accordingly investigated the question according to the atomic view 
of the constitution of the air, and finds, by exact mathematical 
reasoning, that according to this law three times the number of feet 
descended by a falling body should be substituted for double the 
number, as given by Newton's formula. The Newtonian rule thus 
modified brings out the velocity of sound for a certain temperature 
of the air, 1122^ feet per second. Sir John Herschel's data give 
the velocity at the same temperature, 1122§ feet! This numerical 
accordance is, it must be allowed, most extraordinary, whatever may 
ultimately be judged of the validity of the reasoning by which it is 
obtained. 

In the Philosophical Magazine, No. 3, p. 225, is a reply to Prof, 
Potter's theory, as regards his observations on Laplace's views, by 
Mr. W. J. M. Ilankine, C.E. ; to which Prof. Potter replies, in the 
Philosophical Magazine, No. 4, p. 317. In the same number, p. 305, 
is " An Examination of the possible Effect of the Realization of Heat 
on the Propagation of Sound," by Prof. Stokes; next, at p. 319, is a 
second paper on the main question, by Prof. Stokes, wherein he 
observes : — 

" The propagation of sound through liquids, it is well known does not follow the 
same law as the propagation through the air ; for on the old method of treating 
the problem of sound, it was found that the velocity of transmission in air was 
given one-sixth part too small by the theory, whilst the velocity of sound through 
water was that which was given by theory as nearly as could be expected; the 
compressibility of water being slightly different in the results of the experiments 
and reductions as given by Canton, OErsted, and Colladon and Sturm. The 
explanation which has been given is this : so little heat is developed in the com- 
pression of liquids, that there was not required the same correction as for gases. 

" The true cause of the difference in the law of the propagation of sound must 
be sought in the different constitutions of the fluids. The repulsive force 
between the atoms of gases, from the caloric which belongs to each, does not 
exist in liquids ; but on the other hand, there is the attraction of aggregation. 
We see this attraction to be very considerable in water, by allowing the water 
in a fine-pointed glass tube held vertically to escape in drops. Then, again, the 
law of elasticity is essentially different, the density being proportional to the pres- 
sure by Boyle's law for gases at a constant temperature; whereas liquids possess 
a definite density when the pressure is zero, and are very slightly compressed 
under the ordinary pressure of the atmosphere. The relative distance of the cen- 
tres of the atoms is also great in gases compared with liquids. These considera- 
tions assure us that the equalization of density in every direction must be exceed- 
ingly rapid in gases compared with what it is in liquids; and the velocity of sound 
being more than four times greater in water than in air, we may readily believe 
that the equalization of density in every direction which accompanies the trans- 
mission of a wave of sound in air, does not exist in the transmission of such a 
wave in a liquid. 

From the foregoing considerations we must clearly take the compression and 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 125 

dilatation attendant on the passage of sound through a liquid to be only in the 
direction of the wave motion." (For details see the paper.) 

In the Philosophical Magazine, No. 4, p. 332, are also " Remarks 
on Prof. Potter's Theory of Sound," by the Rev. S. Haughton, who 
advances the following objections : — 

1. The cubical form of atoms assumed by this theory of gases is very unnatural, 
and by no means sanctioned by the chemical doctrine of atoms, which does not 
suppose the expansion or contraction of individual atoms. 

2. It would follow from this cubical arrangement that motion in a gas would 
be propagated according to the known law only in three directions perpendicular 
to the faces of the cubes. — N.B. If this be denied, then the atoms are not cubes 
but spheres. 

3. A disturbance of density in a gas would produce interstices throughout the 
mass, which are inconceivable. — N.B. If this be denied, then the atoms have 
changed their form, and are no longer cubes. 

In the Philosophical Magazine, No. 5, p. 408, Prof. Potter replies 
to Mr. Haughton's objections; in the same number, p. 410, Mr. 
Rankine replies to Prof. Potter : and at p. 405, is a contribution by 
Prof. Challis, who advocates his method for determining the velocity 
of sound exclusively on hydrodynamical principles ; adding that 
Prof. Potter's determination is hypothetical. At p. 393, is a paper 
by Prof. Stokes, to which Prof. Challis replies at p. 477 of the 
Philosophical Magazine, No. 6; wherein, also, at p. 475, is Prof. 
Potter's reply to Prof. Challis; and at p. 560, No. 7, his reply to Mr. 
Haughton. 

The controversy is resumed in the Philosophical Magazine, vol. ii., 
No. 8, p. 36, wherein Mr. Rankine replies to Prof. Potter, stating 
that he misconceives his meaning when he supposes that he denies 
the existence of unsymmetrieal waves of sound. His remarks were 
intended to apply to waves, which, having been originally symmetri- 
cal, become unsymmetrieal as they advance, like those on the surface 
of shallow water. 

In the Philosophical Magazine, No. 9, p. 163, the controversy is 
closed with a note by Prof. Potter ; the editors considering that all 
parties have had the fullest latitude in bringing their views before 
the public. 



ON PARASITIC LIFE. 

Dr. J. Leidt has established the fact, that cryptogamic vegetables 
exist, as a normal condition, in the interior of several species of 
healthy animals. He describes three new genera of entophytes, — 
Euterobrus, Cladophytum, and Arthromitus, — all being confervoid or 
mycodermatoid. All are found growing from the mucous membrane 
of the small intestine and commencement of the large intestine of 
Julus marginatus (Say), and from entozoa inhabiting these cavities in 
the same animal. They were uniformly found in 116 examinations 
of animals of this species, made immediately after death. In one 
instance, an arcaris, three lines long, had no less than twenty-three 
individuals of Euterobrus, averaging a line in length, besides a quan- 
tity of the other two genera, growing upon it, and yet moved about 



126 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

in so lively a manner that it did not appear the least incommoded by 
its load of vegetation. 

The important point in these observations is, that they show that 
cryptogamic vegetables may exist in the internal organs, and upon 
entozoa inhabiting these organs, without disturbing the health, and 
even as an ordinary and normal condition. This does not rebut the 
idea that other cryptogamia may produce diseases. They are known 
to exist in aphthse, in many diseases of the skin, have been found in 
the secretions of cholera, and several acute diseases, and were lately 
observed by Dr. Leidy in a case of softening of the stomach. 
Whether in these instances they are the cause or effects of the 
morbid state, or even a mere coincidence, is not decided. Dr. Leidy 
regards the microscopic forms known as vibrio as vegetable. In this 
opinion he is supported by other observers. After mentioning the 
discovery of several species, and a new genus of entozoa, he notices 
the existence of Gregarina in the ventriculus of Julus marginatum. 
Gregarina has recently attracted much attention, as being supposed 
to be an animal consisting only of two cells, and said by Siebold to be 
destitute of an alimentary canal. Dr. Leidy describes a papilla sur- 
mounting the superior cell, with traces of an external communication 
with the cavities of the cells. He regards it as the larva of the 
entozoon. — Proceedings of the Philosophical Academy of Natural 
Science. 



VEGETABLE PHYSIOLOGY. 

MM. Cloes and Gratiolet have operated experiments upon 
Aquatic Plants, as different species of Potamogeton, Naias, Cerato- 
phyllum, Myriophyllum, and Confervas. The following are some of 
the results : — 

a. Influence of Light. — The disengagement of oxygen from the green parts of 
the plants is very rapid in full solar light, insensible in diffuse light, and null in 
darkness j and in the last condition no carbonic acid is disengaged, contrary to an 
old opinion, but now for some years correctly understood. With glass of different 
colours, the effect was greatest with colourless glass, and diminished in the 
order, red, green, blue. 

b. Influence of Temperature. — The decomposition of carbonic acid by aquatic 
plants exposed to light under temperature of + 4° C, does not commence until 
the temperature is raised to 15° C, and has its maximum at 30° 0.; and if the 
plants are in a temperature of 30° C, then on its reduction, action continues even 
to 10° C. This residt corresponds with Chevreul's on the circulation and ascen- 
sion of the sap of plants. 

c. Influence of the Composition of the surrounding Waters. — In river water 
deprived of air by ebullition, and containing only carbonic acid in the same pro- 
portion as the waters of the Seine, the water being frequently renewed, the 
decomposition is at first active, but afterwards diminishes and ceases after four 
or five days; and by this time the green colour of the plant has become paler. 
At first the gas produced is mixed with some nitrogen, the quantity of which 
goes on diminishing, so that when the decomposition ceases, the air disengaged 
is almost wholly pure oxygen. The total volume of the nitrogen disengaged is 
much more considerable than the volume of the plant ; and on submitting this 

Elant to elementary analysis, it is found that for equal weights it contains much 
(ss nitrogen than a portion of the same plant not subjected to the experiment. 
These facts show that in the act of growth m submerged plants, nitrogen proceeds 
from the decomposition of the elements themselves of the plants ; that conse- 
quently a re-supply is necessary, and consequently nitrogen free, uncombined is 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 127 

essential to the life of the plant. In the experiments instituted by Cloes and 
Gratiolet, a ten-thousandth of ammoniacal salts dissolved in water always 
proved injurious. The decomposition of carbonic acid diminished and ceased 
after some hours ; whence the conclusion that the plant assimilates directly 
nitrogen in solution in water. They have also found that whatever may be the 
position of the leaves of Potamogeton in the water, carbonate of lime is decom- 
posed by the superior surface of the leaves, and never by the inferior. They 
have likewise ascertained that the oxygen produced by the decomposition of the 
carbonic acid has a definite course — that it descends invariably from the leaves 
towards the roots. Thus, when a stem of a Potamogeton is placed horizontally 
in water, the emission of the gas always takes place by the section nearest the 
root end of the plant. — L'Institut, No. 878. 

GROWTH OF PLANTS IN VARIOUS GASES. 

Two papers upon this inquiry have been communicated by the 
authors, Dr. J. II . Gladstone, and Mr. G. Gladstone, to the British 
Association at the meetings of 1850 and 1851 ; the substance of 
which is recorded in the Philosophical Magazine, No 10. 

The results (say the authors) indicate that gases may be divided 
into two great classes in respect to their action upon vegetable life ; 
namely, those which are decidedly poisonous, and those which exert 
no deleterious influence. The poisonous gases have been investigated 
by Drs. Christison and Turner: they are sulphurous acid, sulphuretted 
hydrogen, hydrochloric acid, chlorine, and cyanogen ; and a very mi- 
nute quantity of any of these is found to destroy plants immersed in 
them for only a few hours ; indeed some of them, sulphurous acid for 
instance, are decidedly more injurious to vegetable than to animal 
life. In respect to hydrogen, Davy came to the conclusion that it 
was injurious to some plants, but not to others ; Saussure found that 
a plant of Lythrum Salicaria floui'ished for five weeks in an atmo- 
sphere of this gas. Is it not possible that some of the compound 
gases which frequently contaminate hydrogen, and which are known 
to be poisonous even in very small proportion, may have led to the 
destruction of those plants which died apparently through the influ • 
ence of hydrogen gas ? As far as our own experiments are concerned, 
we find hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, carbonic oxide, nitrous oxide, 
and perhaps gaseous hydrocarbons, to be perfectly innocuous to 
vegetable life in any proportion. 

The earth's atmosphere is common to all the tribes of organized 
existence which inhabit the land, whether fixed to one locality or 
endowed with voluntary motion ; but its component gases perform 
different functions in respect to the two great classes into which we 
are in the habit of dividing them. No animal, as far as we are 
aware, can exist for any length of time in an atmosphere devoid of 
oxygen ; whilst on the other hand all those which are usually included 
under the appellation of the " vegetable kingdom " are dependent 
for their food upon those gases which contain carbon. We know from 
Regnault's experiments that the amount of oxygen in the air may 
vary largely, and that the nitrogen may be replaced by hydrogen gas 
without any marked effect upon animal life ; and we now find even 
more strikingly in regard to plants, that either of the great consti- 
tuents of the atmosphere may prevail to the exclusion of the other 



128 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

or that they may be replaced by totally different gases, without 
involving the destruction of the living organism ; of course they 
cannot increase in substance without carbonaceous food, yet the 
deprivation of this appears only to lead to an indefinite suspension of 
their functions. Doubtless the actual constitution of the atmosphere 
is that which is most suited to the permanent well-being of the whole 
of the organized creation, and perhaps it is equally requisite for both 
plants and animals ; yet it is evident that great deviations from it3 
normal constitution may take place without producing serious injury. 



SNAIL TELEGRAPH. 

The Presse has the following account of an alleged new experiment 
of what is called "Telegraphie Escargotique," — thatis, communication 
at a distance by means of Snails : — ' ' Before commencing the account 
of this strange experiment, let us declare distinctly that we do not 
accept in any way the responsibility of the assertions of its inventors. 
Curious facts were produced in our presence by means of an appa- 
ratus in which there were snails, many snails, and some of the 
largest size ; but we do not know to what extent it is possible to cor- 
respond from one hemisphere to the other by means of a universal 
language, and with the celerity and certainty which the inventors 
flatter themselves to have obtained. But be this as it may, and spite 
of our personal doubts and the silence of the demonstrator, we fancied 
we saw something which was neither a mystification nor an halluci- 
nation. On Sunday, the 3rd of August, we went to 86, Route 
d'Asnieres, at the Batignolles, to the house of M. Droux, ex-mayor of 
the commune, where it was announced an experiment was to be 
made. A small number of persons were invited, and among them 
were M. Victor Hugo and M. Emile de Girardin. The master of the 
house led us to a sort of barn, where we found at each end two struc- 
tures in wood placed on open stands. In the front of each was a large 
wooden wheel moving on its centre. This wheel, about two yards in 
diameter, presented the most singular appearance ; 300 or 400 snails 
were kept immovable by means of a sort of paste in a reservoir in 
zinc ; the open part of the shells was towards the spectator, and some 
of them protruded their heads. On the wheels were lines of metal, 
on one of which were the snails, and on the other letters of the 
alphabet. The reservoirs in zinc in which the snails were placed 
were lined with cloth and copper, like the voltaic pile, and all the 
reservoirs were connected by conducting wires which were collected 
on the axis of the wheel. One apparatus was to serve to send a 
despatch, the other to receive it ; we will, to make the demonstra- 
tions clearer, call one 'Paris' and the other 'London.' In turning 
the wheel the letter required was brought to an opening, and desig- 
nated by a needle. Each time that Paris sent up a letter to the 
opening, and designated it by the needle, M. Benoist, in the structure 
called London, wrote it with a pencil on paper, after having dis- 
covered it on his own wheel, by, as he said, moving a snail in its 
reservoir on the letters, which snail made a movement on passing by 



NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 129 

the letter indicated. This is the mystery, and we know no more of it 
than you do. We wrote in the box representing Paris the word enfer, 
and it was perfectly reproduced at London. Another person wished 
to send the word tellus; but, either from want of practice ; or irregu- 
larity of the machine, M. Benoist received the letters C T Z Z L J. 
We ourselves recommenced, with M. Victor Hugo by the side of us, 
in the enclosure Paris, and we sent BENOIST, which was per- 
fectly reproduced in London. Then we sent the word Deus, with a 
mark fxj between the U and S, and it was perfectly received and 
reproduced. Such is what we saw : an apparatus of wood, copper, 
zinc, and snails, sent to a similar apparatus, at a distance of fifteen 
yards, three words? But was it really the snails which acted? Was 
it simply the pile formed by the juxtaposition of copper and zinc? 
Could the same effect be produced in the same manner, at long 
distances? These and other questions can only be solved by ex- 
perience." 

DEEP-SEA SOUNDINGS. 

It is recorded in the Scientific A merican, that an Act of Congress 
authorizes the vessels of the United States Navy to co-operate with 
the scientific Lieutenant Maury, in procuring materials for his 
investigation of the phenomena of the ocean ; and an order of the 
chief of the Bureau of Ordnance requires the commanders of public 
cruisers to get a deep-sea sounding whenever it is calm. Heretofore, 
the difficulty was in getting a line long enough, and in knowing when 
the plummet had reached the bottom. 

Recourse had been had by other navies to wire of great length and 
tenuity ; and the greatest depth ever known to have been reached, 
before the subject was taken up in the United States, was the sound- 
ing, by an officer of the English Navy, in 4000 fathoms, which was 
by no means satisfactory. Lieutenant Walsh, in the United States 
schooner, Fancy, has reported a sounding without bottom, more than 
a mile deeper than this. 

Instead of costly implements used for sounding the depths of the 
ocean, the American vessels are simply supplied with twine, to which 
they attach a weight, and when the weight ceases to sink they know 
it is on the bottom ; thus the depths of the ocean, in the deepest 
parts, may, without trouble or inconvenience, be ascertained in every 
calm of a few minutes' continuance. 

With this simple contrivance, the Albany, Captain Piatt, has run 
a line of deep-sea soundings across the Gulf of Mexico, from Tampico 
to the Straits of Florida ; and has ascertained the basin which holds 
the waters of this Gulf to be about a mile deep, and the Gulf stream 
in the Florida Pass about 3000 feet deep. 

Captain Barron, of the John Adams, has been sounding the Atlan- 
tic basin, between the Capes of Virginia and the Island of Madeira, 
belonging to Portugal. He got bottom with a line of 5500 fathoms, 
the deepest, and 1040 fathoms the shallowest. 

Men of science will recognise in these results some of the most 
interesting and valuable physical discoveries of the day. 

K 



130 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Electrical Science. 



EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCHES IN ELECTRICITY. BY MR. FARADAY. 

We resume our abstracts of the results of these important investi- 
gations, from the Year-booh of Facts, 1851, p. 169. Twenty-third Series. 

Twenty -fourth Series: "On the possible Relation of Gravity to 
Electricity." — Under the full persuasion that all the forces of nature 
are mutually dependent, and often, if not always, convertible more 
or less, into each other, the author endeavoured to connect gravity 
and magnetic or electric action together by experimental results ; and 
though the conclusions were, when cleared from all error, of a nega- 
tive nature, he still thinks that the principle followed, and the expe- 
riments themselves deserve to be recorded. 

Twenty-fifth Series: " On the Magnetic and Diamagnetic Condition 
of Bodies." — This series formed the substance of the Bakerian Lec- 
ture for 1850, an abstract of which is given in the Year-book of Facts, 
1851, p. 127. 

Twenty-sixth Series : "On Magnetic Conducting Power, and Atmo- 
spheric Magnetism." — The remarkable results respecting oxygen and 
nitrogen, described in the last series, and the absence of any change 
of volume, under strong magnetic action, led the author to apply, for 
a time, the idea of conducting power to the phenomena there 
described ; meaning by that phrase, the capabilities which bodies pos- 
sess, of affecting the transmission of the magnetic force, without any 
reference to the process by which that transmission is affected ; and 
assuming that two bodies are at the same time in the magnetic field, 
and that one displaces the other, he considers the result as a differen- 
tial effect of their difference in conducting power. 

Advancing to the consideration of Atmospheric Magnetism, the 
author first refers to the earth as a source of magnetic power from 
which emanate lines of magnetic force passing into space according 
to a particular but recognised distribution, and in obedience to the 
general laws which govern the distribution of power about a given 
irregular magnet. In pure space, the magnetic power is considered 
as transmitted onwards with a certain degree of facility which is con- 
stant, but may be increased or diminished by the presence of para- 
magnetic or diamagnetic matter within that space. The atmosphere 
is a portion of such matter, and can affect the magnetic lines which 
pass from the earth into space ; and affects them differently, accord- 
ing to variations which continually occur in it under natural cir- 
cumstances. Four-fifths nearly, by volume of the air, is nitrogen, 
which is a gas that neither under any difference of temperature or of 
expansion shows any alteration in its power of affecting the trans- 
ference of the magnetic force ; whether added to space, therefore, in 
one state or another, or when undergoing changes of a corresponding 
kind by natural cause, it has no influence on the magnetic force. The 
perfect identity in magnetic action of hot and cold nitrogen, the 
author proves by new and delicate experiments. Oxygen forms the 



ELECTEICAL SCIENCE. 131 

remaining fifth of the atmosphere. The great magnetic changes by- 
expansion, produced by difference of temperature, belong to it alone, 
and not to nitrogen, or to carbonic acid : as its temperature is raised, 
its paramagnetic force diminishes, being resumed as the temperature 
falls again. These properties it carries into the atmosphere, so that 
the latter is, in reality, a magnetic medium, ever varying, from the 
influence of natural circumstance, in its magnetic power. If a mass 
of air be cooled, it becomes more paramagnetic ; if heated, it becomes 
less paramagnetic (or diamagnetic), as compared with the air in a 
mean or normal condition. 

The effect of the approach or the retreat of the sun in his daily 
course, is to produce such variations in the temperature, and expan- 
sion of the atmosphere, as to influence the lines of force emanating 
from the earth, both in their direction and intensity; and the manner 
in which this influence will be developed is, by means of figures and 
descriptions, stated by the author in relation to the annual and daily 
variation, and the irregular perturbations of the magnetic force, 
which, he thinks, are consequences of it. He then applies, in confir- 
mation of his hypothesis, the l-esults of the magnetic observations at 
Hobarton, Toronto, Greenwich, Lake Athabasca, Fort Simpson, and 
St. Petersburg ; and, by aid of these observations, the author endea- 
vours to indicate what different changes in the inclination, declina- 
tion, place of the sun, land, and sea, &c, will produce; all the 
phenomena, however, indicating that the sun does not act directly on 
the needles at different places, but mediately through its effect on the 
atmosphere. 

The author considers that the varying pressure of the atmosphere, 
the occurrence of winds and large currents of air, of rain, and 
snow, of the passage of those masses of warm and cold air which 
the meteorologist recognises in the atmosphere, and of the aurora 
borealis, may all produce changes in the lines of magnetic force, 
and become more or less sensible in the records of irregular varia- 
tions. The author thinks it very possible that masses of air at 
different temperatures may be moved by the magnetic force of the 
earth, according to the principles of differential action made mani- 
fest in the experiments on warm and cold oxygen, in which case 
material as well as potential magnetic storms may exist. He con- 
cludes his paper by calling attention to the wonderful constitution 
of oxygen in its magnetical and electrical, as well as its chemical, 
relations, to the offices it has to perform as part of the atmosphere. 

Twenty-seventh Series: "Atmospheric Magnetism" continued. — 
In order to obtain an experimental representative of the action of 
the atmosphere when heated above or cooled below the average 
temperature, the author employed a ring helix of covered copper 
wire, through which an electric current was passed. The helix was 
about one inch and a half in diameter, and having the well-known 
system of magnetic forces, was placed with its magnetic axis parallel 
to a free needle: when its position was such that a needle within 
the ring would point with the north end downward, then the effect in 

K2 



132 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

deflecting the surrounding lines of force of the earth was considered 
as like that of a relatively paramagnetic mass of air ; and when its 
position was reversed, its action was representative of that of a heated 
or relatively diamagnetic mass of air. Bringing this helix into the 
vicinity of small magnetic needles, suspended either freely, or so as 
to show declination or inclination ; when the needle can move only 
in one plane, there are four quadrants, formed (in the case of the 
declination needle) by the intersection of the planes of the magnetic 
equator and meridian. When in these planes there is no deflection 
at the needle, but when in the quadrants there is, and in opposite 
directions in the neighbouring quadrants. 

As the lines of force are held in and by the earth, so these experi- 
ments were repeated with a needle in near vicinity to a magnet, and 
the difference of effect is pointed out : then the extent to which these 
results are applicable to those of the earth is considered, with their 
utility in guiding the inquirer. — Abridged from the Proceedings of 
the Royal Society. 

THERMO-ELECTRICITY. 

Dr. Tyndall has communicated to the British Association an 
experiment in Thermo-electricity, by Prof, Magnus. 

Dr. Tyndall, in order to make the experiment intelligible, first 
explained the thermo-electric battery of bismuth and antimony, and 
its mode of action and affecting the delicate galvanometer under 
changes of temperature. He then exhibited a coil of brass wire so 
wound round a wooden broad cross, as that alternate lengths of the 
wire, which had been softened and left hard, had the junctions of the 
hard and soft parts all arranged at one side and in a line. This coil 
of wire being then made the circuit connecting the poles of the 
galvanometer, the heat of the fingers when placed along the junction 
of the hard and soft parts caused a very large and instant deviation 
of the needle of the declinometer ; but when the fingers were placed 
either on the hard parts or on the soft, no motion of the galvanometer 
needle took place. 

ELECTRICITY OF FLAME. 

M. Hankel has communicated to PoggendorfFs Annalen, an 
" Account of some experiments upon the Electricity of Flame, and 
the Electric Currents thereby originated ; " contributed to the Philo- 
sophical Magazine, No. 14, by Dr. Tyndall. 

"These experiments," says the author in conclusion, "furnish a con- 
vincing proof that the flame itself is the birthplace of an electric 
current ; for if it merely played the part of a conductor, then an 
increase in the conductibility of a certain portion of the circuit could 
not cause the needle to pass from the positive to the negative position. 

"The experiments prove further, that between the different portions 
of the flame the powers of conduction, as also the electric tensions, 
are very different. By plunging two platinum wires into certain 
portions of the flame, we might even obtain a current which passes, 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 



133 



not from top to bottom, as in the cases heretofore described, but from 
bottom to top." 



DYNAMIC EQUIVALENT OF CURRENT ELECTRICITY. 

Mr. W. Petrie states, in Jameson's Journal, No. 99, the mean 
result of careful experiments, tried directly and conversely, is, that 
a voltaic current of one unit in quantity (or that from one grain of 
zinc electro-oxydized per minute), and of 100° intensity, represents 
a dynamic force of 302^ pounds raised one foot high per minute. 
This datum is of great interest, as a scientific truth, in connexion 
with the other correlative agents of nature, — heat, electricity, light, 
chemical affinities, neuralgic power, &c, most of which we may hope 
soon to see reduced to a mutually comparable relation, in terms of 
the great centre and medium of comparison, Mechanical Force. 

Table of the 'Relative and Absolute Powers of various Galvanic Arrangements, 
4fc., showing the Electric Current circulated by them, after the surfaces of the 
elements have been in action for several hours with continuous supplies of liquids, 
the Temperature being 70°. 



Description of the Galvanic Arrangement. 



Square inches of 
acting negative 

surface, requisite 
to circulate one 

unit of Intensity. 



Permanent 
Intensity 

while 
working. 



; t 



Hard cast-iron, with nitric acid, and zinc with \ 
dil. sulp. acid, warm, say 80° J 

Grove's. — Platinum, with nitric acid, and \ 
ditto / 

The Author's. — Carbon, with nitric acid 
and imamalgamated zinc, with a saline 
solution, warm, 80° 

Daniell's.— Copper, with sulph. copper, and! 
amalg. zinc, with dil. sulph. acid $ 

Smee's. — Platinized silver and dilut. sulph. 7 
acid, with amalg. zinc 3 

Plain copper, with dil. sulph. acid and 7 
amalg. zinc $ 

Plain lead, with ditto, 

Thermo-electric pairs, bars of bismuth 
and antimony, one inch long, diff. 
of temperature of their ends, 90° . . . 



4* 
4i 
4f 
16 



52 

104 

Section of each \ 
metal 2 sq. in. J 



100° 
120° 

112° 



( Average 
1 36° 

] but very 
I, variable 

18° 

23i° 



These data have been found very useful in determining the best proportions of 
batteries for practical purposes. 



SINGULAR PROPERTY, AND EXTRAORDINARY SIZE AND LENGTH, OF 
THE SECONDARY SPARK. BY PROF. CHAS. G. PAGE, M.D. 

In experimenting with my great magnet, a new property of the 
secondary spark has been discovered, and some very interesting facts 
elicited. I will premise that the helix, nearly a foot in diameter each 
way, when charged by the battery, draws up within it in a vertical 
position a huge bar of iron weighing 300 pounds through a distance 
of ten inches, presenting by far the most powerful magnet ever 



134 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

known. When the circuit with the helix is suddenly broken, a 
secondary spark is produced eight inches in length. 

The most interesting feature of this spark is the modification of its 
form and sound by the action of magnetism. When the spark is 
produced at a distance from the magnet, it is readily elongated to 
six or eight inches ; and T presume might be obtained a foot or more 
in length if the wires were separated with the velocity of a cannon- 
ball, as suggested by my friend Mr. Lane. In this case there is 
little or no noise made by the spark ; but as the spark is produced 
nearer to the magnetic pole, the sound increases, until at last, when 
close to the pole, each spark makes a report as loud as a pistol. 
The spark also diminishes in length, and is spread out as large as 
the palm of the hand. There is an effect here somewhat analogous 
to that produced by a magnet upon the arc of flame between charcoal 
points. — Sillimari's American Journal, Nov. 1850. 



CONDUCTION OF ELECTRICITY THROUGH WATER. 

Mr. F. C. Bake well has stated to the British Association, the 
results of some experiments on the conduction of Electricity by water, 
made with a view to prove that an electric current may be trans- 
mitted for a considerable distance through unprotected wires im- 
mersed in water. The experiments were conducted in one of the 
Hampstead ponds. A thin copper wire (No. 20), 320 feet long, was 
stretched across the pond, and two copper plates ten inches square, 
to which wires were soldered, were immersed to serve as conducting 
plates for the return current. A Smee's battery of two pairs of plates 
was used ; and when the connexion was made with a galvanometer 
on the opposite bank a steady deflection of 30° was maintained, and 
a strong blue mark was produced by a steel electrode on paper 
moistened with a solution of prussiate of potass in diluted muriatic 
acid. In this experiment, the conducting plates were placed close to 
the wire and on opposite sides of it, so that the return current passed 
diagonally across the exposed wire. The water in this case appeared 
to act as a conductor and as a non-conductor at the same time, in 
proportion to the surfaces exposed to its influence. In the next 
experiment the wire was doubled, and a current of electricity from 
the same battery was transmitted through the wires, both being 
immersed in the water. In this case the deflection of the needle was 
more powerful, and it continued steady at 45°. From these experi- 
ments, which Mr. Bakewell stated were a confirmation of those 
undertaken by Mr. Bain and Lieut. Wright with a different object in 
1841, he inferred that the exposure of a large surface, as the electric 
telegraph wires from post to post, presented greater opportunity for 
the dispersion of electricity in moist atmospheres than the points of 
connexion with the posts. This communication led to some discus- 
sion, but no apparent agreement. 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 135 

EFFECT OF THE TELESCOPIC FUNNELS OF STEAM-SHIPS ON THEIR 
COMPASSES. 

A communication upon this inquiry has been made to the British 
Association by Capt. Robinson, R.N., in a letter to Col. Sabine, of 
which the following extract gives the substance : — 

" You will perceive by the deviation tables of H.M.SS. Ajax and Blenheim* 
that if no heed were taken of the deviation when regulating the ship's course, the 
most serious consequences might be apprehended. Taking as an example the 
case of the Ajax, with the funnel up, running upon an easterly course at the 
rate of 9 knots per hour, it will be seen that in 24 hours only, if no allowance 
were made for deviation, the ship would be 50 miles out of the reckoning, and 
with the funnel down the error would be increased to 72 miles in the same space 
of time, while the case of the Blenheim would not be very different. In the 
humid and misty atmosphere which so often prevails on the coasts of the British 
Isles, the fact that a ship such as the Ajax if steered a compass course — but without 
allowing for deviation — for mid-channel between Ushant and the Lizard, would, 
instead thereof, be rimning for the dangers about Ushant with the funnel up — 
and witli it down be so far out of the proper course as to be advancing towards 
the rocks south of Douarnenez Bay— is, I conceive, a proper example to show 
the importance of attending to the effects produced on the compass, and the two 
conditions of the funnels of steam-ships. But besides the practical question, I 
wish you to bring under notice the following results which I obtained with 
reference to the effect of hollow iron cylinders upon the compass, when placed 
inside of each other — the object being to ascertain whether the whole difference 
of deviation under the two conditions of these telescopic funnels was due to the 
difference of their elevation and depression only, or whether a portion of the said 
differences was attributable to the induced magnetism of the separate parts of the 
funnel, when lowered, acting upon each other. As it would have required more 
time than could be afforded to hoist the parts of these huge funnels in and out of 
the ship while the requisite succession of observations were made, I procured 
three hollow iron cylinders of smaller dimensions, their several diameters King 
such as to admit of one cylinder being placed inside of another, and leaving a 
space of about one-eighth of an inch between their surfaces. Having placed a 
standard compass on one of the pedestals in the observatory, and ascertained the 
magnetic meridian for the moment by the collimator, the largest or external iron 
cylinder No. 1 was brought in, and placed to the eastward of the compass, the 
principal mass of the cylinder being below the level of the needle and card, and 
its upper end being 2j inches above that level. By this means a deflection or 
deviation of 10° 10 was produced, the north end of the needle being drawn that 
amount to the eastward of the correct magnetic north. Cylinder No. 2 was next 
placed inside of No. 1, when the deviation was increased to 12° 15'. Cylinder 
No. 3 was then placed inside of No. 2, and the deviation was again increased to 
14° 15', the north end of the needle being drawn to the eastward in each case. 
Hansteen's Magnetic Intensity Instrument was then placed with the centre of its 
needle (as nearly as I could adjust it) in a similar position to that which the 
centre of the compass had occupied, and the following results were obtained : — 

Time of 100 vibra- 
tions starting 
from an arc of 18° 

Previous to the cylinders being brought into the observatory 6' 57" 

No. 1 cylinder in place 6' 57" 

No. 2 cylinder in place inside of No. 1 6' 47 // 

No. 3 cylinder in place inside No. 2 & 15" 

The Intensity Instrument being removed, a dipping needle was then employed, 
and the following are the results of the observations : — 

Mean of Eeadings. 
Dip. 

Previous to the cylinders being brought into the observatory 68° 37' 

No. 1 cylinder placed to the south of the instrument 70° 10' 

N. 2 cylinder in place inside of No. 1 70° 27' 

No. 3 cylinder in place inside No. 2 70° 27' 

* These ships mount 58 guns each, and have engines of 450-horse power. 



136 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

The conclusion to be deduced from all these observations appears to be, that to 
the induced magnetism of the surfaces of each cylinder acting upon each other is 
due a portion of the deviation; and reasoning by analogy, a similar deduction is 
applicable to the telescopic funnels of steam-ships. 



MOULDS FOR ELECTRO-METALLURGY. 

Mr. C. Covyper, of Southampton -buildings, Chancery-lane, has 
patented certain improvements in Moulds for Electro-metallurgical 
purposes. The invention consists in constructing moulds by the 
employment of gelatine, glue, or other glutinous or elastic material 
in combination with metallic wires, or strips or pieces of metal im- 
bedded therein, by which the electric current may be quickly and 
simultaneously conveyed to all parts of the surface of the mould. 
When making moulds of gelatine or glue, the surface of the model 
is first oiled all over, and covered with a number of fine metallic 
wires, or strips or pieces of metal, the ends of which should be 
allowed to project ; melted glue, or gelatine is then poured on so as 
to imbed the wires, and allowed to cool, when a mould will be ob- 
tained suitable for use. The interior of the mould is rubbed over 
with black lead or covered with foil, and the exterior varnished or 
oiled before immersing it in the bath. When immersed, the mould 
is connected to one wire of the battery, and a piece of metal to the 
opposite wire ; or, the mould may be connected directly to a piece of 
metallic zinc when using the apparatus known as the single cell bat- 
tery. When the moulds are made of gutta percha, it is preferred to 
mix with it naphtha or some other solvent, and to roll it into sheets, 
which are warmed and applied to the surface of the model — pre- 
viously covered with fine wires, as above described. India-rubber 
moulds are obtained in the same manner, the India-rubber being pre- 
viously treated with bisulphuret of carbon or other solvent, and rolled 
into sheets ; or, the India-rubber may be dissolved, and a mould 
obtained by applying successive coats of the solution to the model — 
one coat being in all cases allowed to dry before another is laid on. 
Moulds constructed as above described are particularly suitable for 
operating on metallic articles. 



AN ELECTRICAL FACTORY. 

Mr. Holmes, of Glasgow, has communicated to the Athenmum, 
No. 1241, the following account of a remarkable phenomenon con- 
nected with frictional electricity developed at a thread-mill in the 
above city ; affording a strong connecting link in the chain of evi- 
dence establishing the identity of the electricities developed by 
friction and by chemical action. 

For some time past, the hands employed at the factory in which 
this occurrence takes place, have been seriously annoyed by receiving 
smart sparks and shocks when approaching or handling the ma- 
chinery. The construction of the mill is that of a number of flats 
or floors one above another, laid over with a coating of asphalte, on 
which the machines are placed, bolted to a sole plate of iron. The 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 137 

ceilings are supported by a series of iron columns running down the 
centre of each floor, and having connexion with the earth, — but, 
owing to the circumstance of the asphaltum floor, in a state of tole- 
rable insulation as regards the machines. The power is derived by- 
drum -shafts, running parallel to the wall, and supported on hanging 
brackets attached to lateral iron beams in connexion with the 
columns ; motion being communicated to the machinery by leather 
and gutta percha belts. Each floor of the factory, therefore, assumes 
the condition of a vast electrical machine, the lathes representing 
the prime conductor and the drums and belts the exciting medium. 
As may be supposed under these circumstances, the amount of fluid 
continuously generated is something considerable, and likely to have 
caused much discomfort to the workpeople at a time when their 
lathes were not in connexion with the earth. 

"The result of my experiments," says Mr. Holmes, "maybe stated 
as follows : — The electricity developed at shaft and drums, negative ; 
that at the lathes, positive. When the current of electricity was 
connected so as to flow through a jar of solution into the earth, a 
feeble but continuous stream of gas was liberated at the electrodes. 
The most remarkable experiment, however, was its power of in- 
ducing continuous magnetism in a bar of soft iron surrounded with 
a helix in the manner of a voltaic magnet. The magnetism there 
developed, deflected a magnet either way; and had a sensible effect 
on the suspension of a small bar of iron at the poles of the magnet, 
which exhibited in all respects the phenomena incidental to the vol- 
taic current. Unfortunately, the coil of my galvanometer was of a 
different construction from that which I required for the experiment, 
and I have, in consequence, been unable for the present [August] to 
complete the interesting and valuable fact of a permanent deflection 
being obtained upon that instrument." 

staite's electric light. 
On May 9th, an exhibition took place at Manchester, of the appa- 
ratus constructed with a view of testing the self-sustaining power of 
the mechanical arrangement adopted for the continued development 
of this Light, the sustaining power of the battery, and the cost of the 
whole. It was understood that the same experiments were made 
upon this occasion as were required by a committee appointed in 
August, 1850, to inquire into the adoption of this light for general 
illumination. The company at the above exhibition were invited for 
half-past three, shortly after which the battery was charged, and at 
four the light was set in action ; it being understood that it was to 
burn for five hours and a quarter without interruption ; that being the 
period at which the committee had expressed themselves satisfied that 
it could be continued for any definite length of time. The Rev. St. 
Vincent Beechey, of Worsley, took charge of the photometrical 
arrangement, by which the comparative power of the light was 
ascertained, and Mr. Daniel Stone, jun., attended to the means 
adopted for measuring the electric power passing. The light con- 



138 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

tinued to burn with increasing brilliancy from four o'clock to six, 
giving successively a light, adjudged equal, the first half-hour, to 200 
candles; at five, to 300; at half-past five, to 400; and so successively 
till the electric fluid came into its fullest action at half-past six ; when 
the light, by the instrument used, — which had been borrowed for 
the purpose from Mr. Cleminshaw, of the gas-works, — developed the 
immense number of 700 candles ; which intensity of light was steadily 
kept up till the experiment concluded at a quarter-past nine o'clock. 
By way of passing the time, and amusing the parties assembled, 
many of the experiments were given which had previously excited so 
much interest at the Town-hall ; and it being perfectly light at the 
commencement of the experiment, and the sun shining, gave the 
opportunity of bringing coloured prints from the influence of the 
direct sunbeam to that of the ray from the electric light, in which 
not the slightest difference of shade of colour could be observed. The 
light of each was then passed through the prism, which still further 
established their identity, as their point of junction could not be 
ascertained, — thus proving its immense value to the manufacturer 
and exhibitor of goods. The light was then attempted to be diffused 
over the room by means of lens, generally used in French light- 
houses, and known as the Fresnel lens, from the name of its inventor ; 
but as the room was only some 120 feet long, and the Fresnel lens is 
calculated to act on an area of a mile, no effect was produced beyond 
enabling us to imagine the possibility of so adapting it. The mode 
adopted by the English, by means of a parabolic reflector, which con- 
denses the light in one direction, was then exhibited ; and certainly 
the effect produced was sufficient to make us believe the statement, 
that at Sunderland the commissioners were able to read at a distance 
of more than three miles at sea. The time having arrived at which 
the exhibition had been intended to close, before the spectators sepa- 
rated, a portion of the solutions produced by the action of the battery- 
were drawn off and precipitated before the company present, and a 
white powder produced, which was represented to be a commercial 
value sufficient to pay the whole expense of producing the light. — 
Abridged from the Manchester Courier. 



ELECTRO-MAGNETIC CLOCKS. 

At Berlin, M. Siemens, lieutenant of engineers, and M. Tiede, the 
astronomical watchmaker, have patented certain apparatus by which 
the Electro-telegraphic wires already used at Berlin for signalizing 
fires shall be connected with the leading Clocks in the different parts 
of the city, and indicate the time on simple dials. The cost of such a 
clock and wires will be twenty-eight thalers, the subsequent yearly 
expense only four thalers. Such apparatus can be applied at any 
private house, and an additional advantage would be, that all these 
watches would keep uniform and exact time. 

A paper has been communicated to the Society of Arts, by Mr. 
C. Shepherd, "On his Improvements in the Electric Clock, and on 
the Electric Clock in construction for the Great Exhibition Building." 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 139 

The imperfection in Bain's electric clock arises from the magnetic 
power being used to attract and repel the pendulum, the rate of 
which must of course be affected by variations in the power of the 
battery. Mr. Shepherd's improvement consists in his employing the 
electricity merely to relieve the pendulum, periodically, from the 
pressure of a spring which has impelled it through one-half of its 
oscillations; therefore, any variation in the power of the battery, 
provided there be sufficient attraction to lift the spring, will not 
affect the going of the clock. Mr. Shepherd has also effected great 
improvements in the application of the power to move the hands, and 
his is the first electric clock that has been made to strike. 

Mr. Shepherd's clock is fully described in the Extra Volume 
of the Year-book of Facts, detailing the Great Exhibition of 1851 ; 
wherein, also, are noticed the electro-magnetic clocks of Mr. Bain 
and Mr. Brocking. 

Bain's electric clock is fully described in the Year-look of Facts, 
1851, p. 177. 



MAGNETO-ELECTRIC-AND ELECTRO-MAGNETIC APPARATUS. 

Mr. William Millward, of Birmingham, has specified a patent, 
which consists — 1. Of an improved method of charging or magnetizing 
iron and steel bars to be used as permanent magnets or electi*o-mag- 
nets. 2. Of certain new forms of electro- magnetic machines. The 
first branch of the improvements is carried into effect by the em- 
ployment of an electro -magnet formed by a current of electricity pro- 
duced from a magneto -electric machine, instead of that generated in 
a voltaic battery; and such an electro-magnet, it is said, may be 
very advantageously used for magnetizing large bars of steel, or for 
producing very powerful magnets. Any of the known forms of mag- 
neto-electric machines will serve thus to convert a bar of steel into 
an electro-magnet ; but the patentee prefers to use one composed of 
four, eight, or any other number of permanent magnets, having 
double the number of armatures, and coiled with strong wire of about 
60 feet in length. 



galvanic new motive power and steamers. 
Mr. Hay, the chemical assistant at Portsmouth Dockyard, has 
exhibited the model of a Galvanic New Motive Power, which it is sup- 
posed will supersede the steam-power now used as an auxiliary for 
propelling line-of-battle ships and frigates. The machine or engine 
makes about 45 revolutions per minute, sea water being the principal 
element of the invention. The Westminster Review foretells a mon- 
ster steamer in time to come: — "An iron ocean steamer, of ten or 
more thousand tons burden, that shall still the heave of the waves 
afloat, as Plymouth Breakwater does on shore, and make the salt 
water the home of the Celt, without the heavings of his diaphragm 
in sea-sickness; built of iron scantlings that shall bear a proportion 
to its size ; rolled and fashioned by the dock side from the iron ingots, 
by tools of giants, one sole heat sufficing to give its permanent form 



140 YEAE-BOOK OF PACTS. 

in the structure; built in sufficient compartments, that shall defy 
leakage, though riddled as a colander ; strong as Atlas to crush the 
rocks on which it may strike ; swift as the salt sea shark, with artist 
fins of metal work ; laughing to scorn, like an ocean monarch, the 
irate cachalot that sometimes sinks the whaler in his fury; mocking 
at fire, like the iron horse of the rail ; coated with rust-proof enamel ; 
furnished with apparatus to change the salt wave into the mountain 
water ; provided with iron cellars, to arrest the decomposition of fresh 
food for all time ; furnished with hermetic gardens, with machine 
music, with books, paintings, and sculpture — with warmth and cool- 
ness at will — with armed strength to bid all ocean rovers defiance — 
an ocean palace, moving over the face of the waters whithersoever its 
ruler listeth." 



PEOP. page's new electeo-motive engine. 

Peof. Silliman has published the following brief explanation of 
the fundamental principle of Prof. Page's new application of Electro- 
magnetism as a moving power : — 

"It is well known that when a helix of suitable power is connected 
with the poles of a battery in action, an iron bar within it will 
remain held up by the induced magnetism although the helix be put 
in a vertical position ; and if the bar be partly drawn out of the 
helix by the hand, it goes back with a spring when the hand lets go 
its hold. This power — the action of the helix upon the metallic bar 
within it — is the power used in his engine. The power, when a 
single coil is used, has its points of greatest and weakest force, and 
in this condition is objectionable. But by making the coil to consist 
of a series of short independent helices, which are to be brought in 
action successively, the metallic rod is made to pass through the coil 
and back again with great rapidity and an equable motion. In all 
the engines hitherto used, there is a loss of power at the instant of 
the change of current, owing to the production of a secondary 
current moving in the opposite direction, and to this loss is owing 
the fact that these engines cannot be rendered available. Prof. 
Page had in view the obviating of this difficulty when he commenced 
his recent investigations, and has full success in his new invention." 

Prof. Page has published a Report of his experiments, which has 
been sent to the Senate : he thus describes his construction of an 
engine upon a much larger scale than any hitherto tried : — 

" This engine, the framework of which was principally built at the 
Navy Yard, was an upright engine of two-feet stroke ; and in order 
to have facilities for comparative trials and experiments, it was 
necessary that a double engine should be made, the two parts exactly 
corresponding. Two bars of soft iron, six inches diameter and three 
feet in length, were the prime movers, and these were balanced by 
means of connecting rods and cranks upon a fly-wheel shaft. The 
balance-wheel and shaft together weighed 600 pounds. When this 
engine was first tried, with the same battery which had before given 
me one-fifth of a horse power, with a smaller engine, it produced 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 141 

only one-third of a horse power. By careful attention to the adjust- 
ments, and particularly to the cut-off, which was a very different 
thing now from what it had been in smaller engines, the engine soon 
yielded one-horse power. Here was a gain of eighty per cent. 
as measured merely by the size of the battery. But it was much 
more ; for the cost was found to be less for one-horse power than it 
had been before for one-fifth of a horse power in a smaller engine ; 
how much less has not yet been ascertained. 

"A great variety of experiments were continued with this engine, 
each having a definite object ; and, I am happy to say, each resulting 
advantageously ; so that finally, by little daily increments, I obtained 
from this engine, by a trifling addition of battery, a full two-horse 
power. 

"By way of giving a practical character to the engine, it was 
geared to a circular saw ten inches in diameter, the turning lathe and 
grindstone of the workshop, all of which it worked simultaneously, 
as witnessed by a number of visitors, and, if I mistake not, by your 
predecessor in office, in company with Lieutenant Maury, of the 
National Observatory. 

" After many satisfactory trials with this engine it was taken 
down, and all its available parts used in the construction of the "single 
horizontal engine which I had the honour lately to exhibit before the 
Smithsonian Institution.* This change was made for the purpose of 
dispensing with the dead weight of one of the driving-bars, and more 
particularly for introducing the important feature of keeping up the 
magnetism of the driving-bar. As soon as this new form was com- 
pleted and tried, a gain of one-half former power was at once 
realized; by the addition of a few more feet of battery surface, the 
power was found to be above four-horse j" and Prof. Page sees no 
reason why ten-horse power might not be obtained from this engine 
by the addition of more battery; provided it were economical to do so. 

Prof .Page states the expense of two electro-magnetic engines to 
be ' ' less than the most expensive steam-engines ; although recently, 
in Europe, it has been decided by experimenters and men of science, 
that it was fifty times the cost of the dearest steam-engines." 

Before it can be rendered available in practice, the galvanic 
battery must be rendered regular and durable in its action, so that 
the engine may be managed by persons not thoroughly skilled in 
electricity and magnetism. It remains also to be proved whether the 
power will increase in proportion to the size of the engines. The 
rotary form of the engine has not been tested ; although it occupies 
less than one-half the room required for the reciprocating form. 

Prof. Page stated in his remarks before the American Association, that one- 
horse power for twenty-four hours would cost about twenty cents. Prof. W. K. 
Johnson observed that his estimate was based upon too high a cost for the zinc, 
and that ten cents would be a nearer estimate. In either case, a very great 
advance is made upon all previous experiments. 
Prof. Page also observed, that the cost of electro-magnetic power was not to 

* See the abstract of Prof. Page's lecture delivered at his establishment; in 
the Tear-book of Facts, 1851, p. 121. 



142 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

be reckoned in this comparison by the mere cost of zinc, nor the cost of steam 
by the pounds of coal consumed. The cost of human life, the sacrifice of 
millions of property, and risk of many millions more, and all the contingent 
advantages and disadvantages were to be taken into account. 

With regard to his mode of measuring the power of the engine, Prof. Page 
explained as follows, after drawing a diagram of the fly-wheel. The brake was 
loaded to 620 lbs. The power required barely to keep the engine in motion under 
this load was 126 lbs. The full power being on, the engine made eighty revolu- 
tions per minute under this load. The circumference of the wheel being about 
four feet, it was easy for any one to compute the horse power from these data. 

A writer in the Daily National Intelligencer thus describes Dr. Page's plan : — 

In all former electro-magnetic machines, the power is made up of a series of 
impulses, while in this, which he styles an axial machine, or engine, the power is 
uniform and continuous ; and it is just as easy to make a reciprocating engine of 
twenty-four feet stroke, as one of two feet, like that already constructed and 
recently exhibited. 

In order to show its power, Dr. Page loaded down this Rotary Axial Engine; 
he placed the crank at half-stroke, and then a hook over the end of the crank, 
to which hook was attached a long rope. Three of the strongest men of the party 
then took hold of the rope, two of them having their feet braced. The three 
men coidd not start the engine a hair's breadth. Pour of the men then took 
hold, and they moved the crank two inches, where it stuck fast. The power was 
then let on, and the engine started, and made a speed" of ninety revolutions in 
a minute. By taking off fourteen pounds from the end of his friction-brake, the 
engine made 110 revolutions per minute. (See Prof. Page's report, quoted 
entire in the Philosophical Magazine, No. 2.) 

At a recent lecture at Washington, Prof. Page exhibited his trip-hammer, in 
which he raised up and suspended an immense bar of iron, weighing fifty pounds, 
which produced a jarring of the whole room as it fell. Heavy blows were made 
in rapid succession, but the motions of the bar were so easily controlled that it 
was laid down slowly or rapidly at pleasure. — (American) Farmer and Mechanic. 

See Mr. Robert Hunt's masterly paper upon " the Application of 
Electro magnetism as a Motive Power ;" and Mr. Hockling's estimate 
of " the Comparative Value of Heat and Electricity as Motive 
Agents ;" in the Year-book of Facts, 1851, pp. 118 and 125. 



FEENCH ELECTEO-MAGNETIC ENGINE. 

M. Aeistides Dumont, engineer of the Ponts et Chaussees, has 
made some experiments with Electro-magnetic Engines, for the Paris 
Academy of Science. He concludes from these researches that 
although electro-magnetism cannot compete with steam, small power 
machines might be usefully turned to account in many trades, and for 
numerous mechanical operations where moderate forces only are 
required. 



PEOTECTION OF ELECTRIC TELEGEAPH WIEES. 

Me. Dick, of Ayr, has invented a protective casing for the Wires 
of the Electric Telegraph, especially meeting and obviating the mis- 
chief to which the wires are liable from the beating of the chafing 
sea on a rocky shore. Two very opposite qualities must be com- 
bined — extreme hardness, with perfect flexibility. In the invention 
of Mr. Dick, these two qualities are completely blended. The mate- 
rial is cast-iron — at least hard enough : and the form adapted to 
secure flexibility ; that which Nature herself has selected for pro- 
tecting the most delicate and powerful telegraphic apparatus yet 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 143 

known to man — the cord of nerves which radiates from the brain 
to the extremities of the higher animals, through their spine or 
vertebral column. The backbone of a man, or that of a more 
flexible creature, the snake or eel, might have been taken as a 
pattern; but in that case there would have been a complication 
of "processes" and interlocking projections to imitate: Mr. Dick 
has taken a simpler form, and has thus most unconsciously hit 
on the form selected by Nature for the backbone of the shark — 
an apparatus at once powerful and more almost than any other 
flexible. A large bead of iron is threaded on to the cord of elec- 
tric wires (which is previously encased, as at present, in a thick 
tube of gutta percha); then a perforated cylinder, like a " bugle," 
is threaded on to the string next to the ball; then another ball 
is threaded, and then another cylinder, and so on. The two ends 
of each cylinder are made concave, so as to receive the convex 
surface of the two balls on each side of it. Thus the whole string 
of iron "beads and bugles" makes an iron tube, which protects 
the electric cord on which they are threaded, and is at the same 
time so flexible that a rope of it, massive enough to weigh thirty 
or forty pounds to the lineal yard (without the telegraphic cord), 
will double up in a loop that will lie round the rim of a hat. The 
merits of the contrivance are its perfect simplicity and effective- 
ness ; it consists of balls and cylinders, the chief cost of which 
must be only that of their cheap material, cast-iron. With such 
a protection, one would think that the wires of the submarine tele- 
graph would be safe against the beating of any sea, on any coast. 

The invention would also be useful in protecting wires under our 
street thoroughfares, where the vibration and crushing pressure 
caused by heavy vehicles rapidly passing might be of evil effect to 
the cord of message-wires. — Spectator. 

little's improvements in electro-telegraphic instruments. 

The annoyances to which the operators in Electro-telegraphic 
manipulation are subject are very great, including imperfect insula- 
tion of the line of conducting wires, the vibration of the indicators 
thereby preventing the communications from being read off clearly ; 
the deflection of the indicators from local causes, such as the passing 
of currents of atmospheric electricity downwards to the earth, and 
vice versd; the demagnetization of the indicators by lightning, which 
has the effect of stopping all communications for a time ; and great 
trouble in adjusting the indicators upon their axes. 

By the following arrangement, Mr. Little obviates the difficulties 
named. On the dial -plate is secured a socket, which is made to hold 
in its upper part a permanent magnet, which is termed by the 
inventor a magnetic reservoir. Immediately underneath, and adher- 
ing to the same, by attraction, is a sewing-needle, which is surrounded 
by spirits of wine, contained in a glass tube, which is secured to the 
bottom part of the socket. Near the bottom of such glass tube is seen 
the small coil of insulated copper- wire. 



144 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

The object of the large magnet is to keep up at all times a constant 
supply of magnetic power in the needle, so that if at any time light- 
ning should make its way into the instrument, and rob the needle 
of any of its power, it will immediately take up a fresh supply 
without at all interfering with any communication that may be going 
on at the time. And as the needle is held up by magnetic attraction, 
the use of the axis is thereby dispensed with, the spirits in the tube 
preventing any sudden jarring and vibration. The socket which is 
joined to the dial-plate enables the operator to move the whole of the 
apparatus to the right or to the left, as occasion may require, if the 
needle should be bent out of its course from local causes. 

In indicating letters and words by this telegraph, never more than 
two indications are required. 

The inventor has not only produced an instrument beautiful in 
point of arrangement and simplicity, but one that, as regards economy, 
we do not think can be surpassed. — Illustrated LondonNews, No. 488. 

bain's electric telegraph. 

This system has been most satisfactorily experimented on the rail- 
way from Paris to Tours. Two beautiful machines (made by M. 
Chevallier, from Mr. Bain's models) were appropriated for the occasion; 
one at the Ministry of the Interior, the other at Tours. The following 
details of the experiment are from Galignani's Messenger : — 

A signal was made from the Ministry to Tours, desiring that a 
despatch might be forwarded to Paris. This communication, and the 
answer from Tours, a distance of about 180 English miles, announcing 
that a despatch would be sent immediately, took one minute and a 
quarter. A long despatch, containing 466 words, equal to about fifty 
lines of the ordinary print in a newspaper, was then received ; the 
time occupied in its transmission was only two minutes and a quarter. 
It was read off by one of the assistants, and written down by another 
at his dictation in thirteen minutes. The signs were read with the 
same facility and rapidity as another person would read the ordinary 
print of a book. Mr. Bain's system differs entirely from that hitherto 
in use, for it is four times quicker for long despatches than either of 
the systems which preceded it. It is called electro-chemical, as the 
despatch is received on a disc of paper prepared chemically. The 
letters of the alphabet are represented by dots and lines, so arranged 
as for the key to be learned thoroughly by any intelligent boy or girl 
in less than a month. To prepare a despatch there is a machine 
which makes holes or cuts according to the letters to be transmitted, 
on a paper band of any length, according to the despatch. This band, 
rolled round a cylinder, is placed upon the transmitting machine, and 
when the machine is in motion, the paper runs off and the electric 
fluid passes through the holes and cuts, and, flying along the wire, 
the fluid, by means of a steel pencil or stylet, marks upon the pre- 
pared paper at the receiving machine dots and lines corresponding 
with the holes or cuts in the prepared message. These are read off 
with great rapidity, and the despatch is written out by an amanuensis. 



ELECTRICAL SCIENCE. 145 

Whilst the first part of a very long despatch is being transmitted, the 
remainder can be prepared and forwarded without interruption. In 
this way, in the United States, where there are already 6000 miles 
of electric telegraph on Mr. Bain's system, speeches in the House of 
Representatives, which fill two or three columns of a newspaper, are 
sent off as the speakers proceed. 



THE SUBMARINE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH BETWEEN ENGLAND 
"AND FRANCE. 

In the Year-booh of Facts, 1851, were fully described the experi- 
mental operations for establishing this communication, commenced 
August 27, 1850, and brought to a successful issue the next day. 
The triumph was, however, but of short duration : for a letter dated 
September 4, stated that the wire had been cut asunder among the 
rocks at Cape Grienez. Arrangements were immediately made for 
relaying the Telegraph more securely; and the hope expressed in 
our last year's volume has been fully realized. The construction of 
the new wire cable has been already described in the Mechanical 
section of the present volume ; and we have here to record the con- 
summation of the important work. 

The Submarine Telegraph Company announced that they would 
be prepared to transmit communications between the towns of Dover 
and Calais on Thursday, the 13th of November. A distance of some 
three miles from the South Foreland Lighthouse where the cable had 
been temporarily placed, had to be laid with insulated wire, and 
arrangements connected with the necessary conduct of the under- 
taking completed. The complete success of these projected arrange- 
ments was happily insured and made manifest by the transmission of 
despatches and other intelligence during the course of Thursday. At 
about half-past ten o'clock in the morning, the last portion of the 
wire leading from the Foreland was brought close under the walls of 
Dover Castle at the summit of the cliff, and thence gently dropped 
into the garden attached to the temporary office of the Company. 
The wire was then led into one of the upper rooms and connected 
with the telegraphic instruments. In addition to the well-known 
apparatus of Messrs. Cooke and Wheatstone, the more modern in- 
ventions of Messrs. Brett and Henley had been enlisted for the occa- 
sion. After some little delay the wires were finally connected, and 
it became a moment of intense anxiety when signals were about to 
be passed. The instrument of Messrs. Cooke and Wheatstone was 
set in motion, signals were interchanged with Calais, and the 
success of the undertaking was completely evinced. But very few 
communications had passed, when a mounted messenger arrived 
with a despatch from the telegraph office of the South-Eastern Rail- 
way Company. It proved to be a communication containing the 
prices of the funds on the London Exchange, which were to be imme- 
diately sent on by the submarine telegraph to Paris. The particulars 
of the message were of course kept secret, but it was duly forwarded. 
From this time, despatches were continually passing between the 

L 



146 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Dover telegraph-offices and London and Paris. A message from 
London was sent to Paris, and an answer received from Paris, and 
forwarded to London within one hour ; and this time, it must be 
remembered, included the distance of a mile traversed twice between 
the Dover offices, bringing the London message to the office of the 
Submarine Company and transmitting the reply to the office of the 
South-Eastern Railway. To this must be added the loss of time 
consequent on the message having to be sent from the Paris office to 
the Paris Bourse, and the time taken for the reply from the Bourse 
to the Paris office. 

It was a singular coincidence that the day chosen for the opening 
of the Submarine Telegraph was the same as that on which his Grace 
the Duke of Wellington attended in person to close the Harbour 
sessions, when it was resolved by the promoters that his grace on leav- 
ing Dover by the two o'clock train for London should be saluted by 
a gun fired by the transmission of a current from Calais. It was 
arranged with Calais that as the clock struck two a signal was imme- 
diately to be passed ; and, punctual to the moment, a loud report 
reverberated on the water, and shook the ground with some force. 
It was then ascertained that a 22-pounder loaded with 10 lbs. of 
powder had been fired by the current. The report had scarcely 
ceased ere it was taken up from the heights, the military, as usual, 
saluting the departure of the Duke with a round of artillery. Guns 
were then fired sucessively on both coasts ; Calais firing the gun at 
Dover, and Dover returning the compliment to Calais. 

" The successful completion of the experiment of establishing an 
electro-telegraphic communication between England and France," 
says a writer in the Athenceum, "is calculated to produce most im- 
portant social and political consequences. The accomplishment of 
an instantaneous communication between London, France, Belgium, 
&c, and the means thus afforded of extending the same facility of 
intercourse to all the cities of Europe, constitute one of the great 
facts that will distinguish 1851 to after ages. The importance of 
telegraphic communication is as yet very imperfectly appreciated: 
many circumstances have co-operated to diminish the public estimate 
of its importance. A few years since, when the Messrs. Brett first 
put forward their project of underlaying the sea with electric wires 
for opening an instantaneous communication between Great Britain, 
Ireland, and the continent — even India and America included — the 
idea was looked on as not only chimei'ical, but impossible. One 
great feature of their plan of electric telegraph (submarine and sub- 
terranean) was, an uniform rate of charge on the principle of postage. 
The great social advantages that would arise from thus bringing the 
inhabitants not only of distant towns, but of distant countries, into 
immediate communication with each other, and placing these advan- 
tages within the reach of all, we need not here dwell on. But we 
may state that the fact is even now, by this twenty odd miles of sub- 
marine line, to a certain extent accomplished. Communications are 
at this moment travelling uninterruptedly across this line to the most 



ELECTKICAL SCIENCE. 147 

distant parts of France and Belgium simultaneously ; and by the four 
wires now laid alone intercommunications may be passing between 
four distant capitals on the continent and Great Britain every minute 
by night or by day. By the Company's prospectus it is calculated 
that with four additional wires only, and these employed twelve hours 
per day and night, at the tariff of Is. per message of twenty words, 
an income would be yielded of 94,000£. per annum." * 

The laying down of the wires has been completed at Dover, from 
the Company's office at East Cliff to their premises in Clarence-place, 
close to the telegraph- office of the South-Eastern Railway, so that 
in future not more than half a minute will be lost in conveying 
messages from one office to the other. Eight wires, covered with 
gutta percha and enclosed in a wooden tube, lying ten inches below 
the surface of the ground, have been provided to meet contingencies. 
A new additional cable, with four wires, has also been constructed, 
to be laid down from coast to coast, in case of accident to the original 
cable. The facility and certainty with which the telegraph has 
worked have already effected a great revolution in commercial 
arrangements, which would be thrown into confusion by the rupture 
of the communication. Night and day it is carried on. The number 
of telegraphic stations now open and in connexion with the central 
station of the Electric Telegraph Company in Lothbury, amount to 
226, embracing all the principal commercial towns in the kingdom. 
Nearly seventy are principal commercial stations, at which the 
attendance is day and night : the length of the lines of communication 
extend over 2500 miles, with 800 in progress of suspension. Since 
the partial reduction of charges, it is said, persons of all classes have 
availed themselves of its advantages for business purposes. 

Arrangements have been made, with the consent of the South- 

_ * In the Philosophical Magazine for May, 1850, Professor Maunoir claims for 
his friend, Dr. Odier.the first idea of the Electric Telegraph; but a correspondent 
of the Mechanics' Magazine quotes the following passage from a German work by 
Schwenter, entitled Delicia Physico-Mathematicce, and published in 1636, to show 
that the crude idea of the electric telegraph was entertained upwards of a century 
before the period alluded to by Professor Maunoir. Indeed, (Ersted's grand 
discovery was alone wanting to perfect the telegraph in 1636. The idea, in fact, 
appears to have been entertained prior even to this date, for Schwenter himself 
quotes from a, precious author: — 

"How two People might communicate with each other at a Distance by means of 
the Magnetic Needle. 
" If Claudius were at Paris and Johannes at Rome, and one wished to convey 
some information to the other, each must be provided with a magnetic needle so 
strongly touched with the magnet that it may be able to move the other from 
Rome to Paris. Now suppose that Johannes and Claudius had each a compass 
divided into an alphabet according to the number of the letters, and always com- 
municated with each other at six o'clock in the evening; then (after the needle 
had turned round 3i times from the sign which Claudius had given to Johannes), 
if Claudius wished to say to Johannes — ' Come to me,' he might make his needle 
stand still, or move till it came to c, then to o, then to m, and so forth. If now 
the needle of Johannes' compass moved at the same time to the same letters, he 
could easily write down the words of Claudius and understand his meaning. 
This is a pretty invention; but I do not believe a magnet of such power could be 
found in the world." 

L 2 



148 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Eastern Railway, and at the request of the Astronomer Royal, for 
placing the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in connexion with the 
wires of the Electric Telegraph Company, which will give facilities 
for instantaneous astronomical observation at one and the same time 
in all parts of the kingdom, and, by means of the submarine tele- 
graph, with nearly all parts of the continent. Two other advan- 
tages will also be obtained, — viz., those of ascertaining the difference 
in the longitude of places, and of regulating the national time by the 
uniform standard of Greenwich. 



PKOGKESS OF ELECTRO-METALLUEGY. 

In a lecture on Electro-metallurgy, delivered before the Bank o 
England Library and Literary Association : — 

Since electro-metallurgy was first practised, a new material of great import- 
ance has been added to our list of substances capable of becoming moulds : this 
is Gutta Percha. By it we are enabled to take the most perfect impressions. 
If the object is small the pressure of the thumbwillsuffi.ee; if large a screw-press 
may be employed: and for very large objects the most powerful hydraulic 
presses are used. 

Before we use any of these substances, it is necessary to render their surface 
an efficient conductor. Professor Solly recommended nitrate of silver, exposed 
to the action of light, and Mr. Murray showed us that we had an invaluable 
friend in the housemaid's blacklead brush, for by giving the object a coating of 
that material it became a conductor sufficiently good to enable the metal to 
spread over it. Other conducting substances are sometimes used; Bessimere's 
best copper bronze maybe used; and Elkington has patented the process of 
obtaining a conducting medium by means of reducing silver through the 
agency of phosphorus, and by one or other of these means there is hardly any 
object, however delicate, which may not now be used to receive the metallic 
deposit. Connected with moulds may be mentioned the flexible moulds, formed 
of gelatine, and certain compounds of gelatine, which are at present kept 
secret, and which may be employed as moulds for works of art, which are under- 
cut, or exhibit elaborate surfaces. 

Mr. Charles Elkington has lately discovered that by an addition of phosphorus 
to these moulds, he is enabled to obtain a conducting surface by simply brush- 
ing them over with a solution of chloride of gold. This discovery of Mr. Charles 
Elkington's is one of immense importance to the practical electro-metallurgist, 
as it gives him a new power of operation for very delicate works of art, which 
he has not heretofore possessed. Very excellent results are obtained by the 
use of bisulphuret of carbon, which on being added to wax, confers on it the 

Sower of reducing gold and silver, and thereby of becoming coated with a con- 
ucting surface to favour deposition. 



BBIGHT REDUCTION OF METALS. 

Me. Lyons accidentally discovered that the addition of a few drops 
of bisulphuret of carbon to a large quantity of solution of silver 
caused the reduction of the metal in a brilliant state, and in my various 
experiments I have occasionally seen this brilliant reduction under 
many circumstances, but at the present time no theory of the change 
is known. When this singular and interesting fact is rightly under- 
stood, I dare venture a confident opinion that it will tend to important 
practical results. Already the fact is of much importance, for the 
reduction is so perfect, throughout, that spoons and other articles 
plated under such circumstances do not require the cost and labour 
of burnishing. 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 149 

ffifiemtcal gfectence. 



ATOMIC VOLUMES AND ATOMIC WEIGHTS. 

A paper has been read to the British Association on Atomic 
Volumes and Atomic Weights, with considerations on the proba- 
bility that certain bodies now considered as elementary may be 
decomposed ; by Prof. Dumas. The Professor first alluded to the solu- 
bility of some substances and the insolubility of others, giving 
many instances of the difference of this quality in regard to 
solution in water, sulphuric and strong acids, and referred to Ber- 
thollet's views and experiments on this subject. The measure or 
volume of bodies he thought might be represented with as much 
facility as the weight: thus, for example, magnesia and sulphuric 
acid may have their volumes numerically expressed before and after 
combination, and also graphically by lines. Magnesia with sulphuric 
acid showed a certain degree of condensation, lime a greater conden- 
sation, and barytes the greatest condensation ; and these he could 
represent and reason on as well by lines of different lengths as by 
figures or by words. The degree of condensation (however expressed) 
had also relation to the quality or degree of solubility. Thus, sul- 
phate of magnesia was very soluble, sulphate of lime but little 
soluble, and the greatly condensed sulphate of baryta was insoluble. 
He then pursued the analogy with the chlorides, comparing the 
chloride of* sodium with the extreme case of the chloride of silver. 
After graphically expressing the solubility of bases with sulphuric 
acid by lines, he proceeded to show that the relative volumes of the 
elements chlorine, bromine, and iodine could be perfectly represented 
by lines equal in length. Prof. Dumas said that when a number of 
metals are represented by lines, at first they seem in confusion, and 
it would appear like an impossibility to arrange them in a system of 
lines to permit their relations to appear ; but when considered in 
relation to the substitution of one property for another, or of the sub- 
stitution of one substance for another in groups, then their arrange- 
ment became easy. And here we may remark, that Prof. Dumas had 
not previously prepared diagrams or tables, but covered a large black 
board with lines, figures, and formulae, to follow his train of reason- 
ing, — and symbols, volumes, and names were rapidly produced, and 
as rapidly effaced to illustrate the Professor's views of the laws of the 
substitution of one body for another in a compound. 

Prof. Dumas gave many examples of groups of bodies, such as the 
alkalies, earths, &c, arranged in the order of their affinities. He 
called attention in the Triad groups, to the intermediate body having 
most of its qualities intermediate with the properties of the extremes, 
and also that the atomic or combining number was also of the middle 
term, exactly half of the extremes added together: thus, sulphur 16, 
selenium 40, and tellurium 64. Half of the extremes give 40, 
the number for the middle term. Chlorine 35, bromine 80, and 



150 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

iodine 125. Or the alkalies, lithia, soda, and potassa, or earths, lime, 
strontia, and baryta, afford, with many others, examples of this 
coincidence ; hence the suggestion, that in a series of bodies, if the 
extremes were known by some law, intermediate bodies might be 
discovered; and in the spirit of these remarks, if bodies are to be 
transformed or decomposed into others, the suggestion of suspicion is 
thrown upon the possibility of the intermediate body being composed 
of the extremes of the series, and transmutable changes thus hoped 
for. Prof. Dumas then showed that in the metals similar properties 
are found to those of non-metallic bodies; alluding to the possibility 
that metals that were similar in their relations, and which may be 
substituted one for the other in certain compounds, might also be 
found trammutahle, the one into the other. He then took up the 
inorganic bodies where substitutions took place which he stated 
much resembled the metals. After discussing groups in triads, Prof. 
Dumas alluded to the ideas of the ancients of the transmutation of 
metals, and their desire to change lead into silver and mercury into 
gold; but these metals do not appear to have the requisite similar 
relations to render these changes possible. He then passed to the 
changes of other bodies, — such as the transmutation of diamonds into 
black lead under the voltaic arc. After elaborate reasoning and 
offering many analogies from the stores of chemical analysis, Prof. 
Dumas expressed the idea that the law of the substitution of one 
body for another in groups of compounds might lead to the transfor- 
mation of one group into another at will ; and we should endeavour 
to devise means to divide the molecules of one body of one of these 
groups into two parts, and also of a third body, and then unite them, 
and probably the intermediate body might be the result. In this way, 
if bodies of similar properties and often associated together were 
transmutable one into the other, then by changes portions of one 
might often, if not always, be associated with the other. Thus, in 
Nature, when chlorine occurred, iodine and bromine might also be 
found, and always would be if they were transmutable the one into 
the other. Cobalt is thus mysteriously associated with nickel, iron 
with manganese, sulphur with selenium, &c. In the arts during 
operations when certain radicles were produced, analogous ones were 
found constantly to be associated. In the distillation of brandy, oil 
of wine is always an associated result. 

Dr. Faraday expressed his hope that Professor Dumas was setting 
chemists in the right path ; and although conversationally acquainted 
with the subject, yet he had been by no means prepared for the mul- 
titude of analogies pointed out. Mr. Grove spoke of the importance 
of the view ; as, by knowing the extreme compounds, it might serve 
as a guide in experiments and as a check to the results. He adverted 
to the allotropic condition of substances when their principal cha- 
racters were changed, but their chemical qualities were unaltered: 
thus, carbon in the state of diamond had a change of property so 
complete, that it had one of the properties of metals given or trans- 
ferred to it by its conducting power for electricity under these condi- 






CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 151 

tions, and its other forms were states resistant to electric passage. 
He thought this fact of certain bodies having two sets of physical 
properties, with greatly differing character, might, with this law of 
the substitution of one set of chemical qualities for another in a com- 
pound group, give the hope of a great realization of some of the ideas 
embodied in the views of the possible transformation of one body at 
will, so as to possess the properties of others. Professor Williamson, 
Dr. Anderson, and Dr. Gladstone remarked on these analogies — and. 
referred to the groups of bodies of similar characters, but whose 
history was difficult or inexplicable. 

Thus, the metals of the platina group of bodies, the red states of 
phosphorus and of sulphur, the carrying of certain of these proper- 
ties into the sulphurets of phosphorus ; and the unsatisfactory history 
of bodies like the phosphates, might be rendered clear in future 
researches by the ideas resulting from numerous examples of the triad 
groups alluded to by Professor Dumas. — Athenceum, No. 1237. 

SPHEROIDAL BODIES. 

A PAPER has been communicated to the British Association, " On 
the Cause which maintains Bodies in the Spheroidal State, beyond 
the Sphere of Physicochemical Activity," by M. Boutigny ; who 
referred to his former communications and well-known experiments 
on the peculiar state induced in liquids when in contact with very hot 
metals,* and regretted he had not the means for exhibiting the ex- 
periments, as they required apparatus he had not at command in the 
Section, such as for the application of the spheroidal state of water 
to the purposes of the steam-engine. He referred to the experiments 
first shown at Cambridge, and their extension since, to explain some 
of the effects of ancient oracles. Alluding to the disputed points in 
the explanation of his experiments as to the repulsion of metals and 
fluids, and whether the effects were really entirely or not, to be 
attributed to the properties of the thin stratum of paper, Professor 
Boutigny proceeded to show, by experiment, that when platina wire 
was coiled up in the form of a flat spiral, and made hot, and ether or 
alcohol fluid placed on it, in the spheroidal state the liquid would 
not pass through between the spaces, while the vapour readily 
did so. 

A conversation ensued on the subject of M. Boutigny's showing 
the capability of the human hand to pass through red-hot molten 
metal without injury ; and by the prompt kindness of Messrs. Ran- 
somes and May, the experiment was arranged to take place at 
seven o'clock in the evening. Accordingly, at that hour the mem- 
bers of the Chemical Section had the opportunity of seeing M. 
Boutigny pass his hand through the stream of liquid red-hot iron, as 
it passed from the furnace, and afterwards scooping out portions of 
iron from the casting ladle, until the fluid sunk to the mere red-hot 

* For details of these Experiments, see Tear-book of Facts, 1846, p. 188; and 
Tear-book, 1850, p. 151. See also Professor Plticker's observations upon these 
Experiments, in Tear-book of Facts, 1851, p. 161. 



152 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

fluid state, when danger might be apprehended from the falling of 
the temperature, causing the iron to adhere. 



CHEMICAL ACTION OF LIGHT. 

Prof. Draper has communicated to the Philosophical Magazine, 
No. 5, a discussion of this problem, in which he has endeavoured 
to investigate how fax the decomposing action of a ray is dependent 
on the amplitude, or frequency, or direction of its vibrations. The 
result arrived at is, that decompositions are not determined by 
amplitude ; since a faint light continued long enough can produce 
precisely the same effect as the more concentrated ray of a burning- 
lens applied for a shorter time. Nor does the direction of motion, 
as involved in the idea of polarization, whether plane or circular, 
exert any effect ; but it is the frequency of the periodic impulses 
that is the sole determining cause. And the phenomena of inter- 
ference, from the superposition of such small motions, occur exactly 
as might have been predicted. 

The immediate cause assigned for such decompositions is, that a 
ray forcing the material particles on which it falls into a state of 
rapid vibration, it comes to pass in many compound molecules that their 
constituent atoms can no longer exist together as the same group, 
because of the impossibility of their being animated by consenta- 
neous or conspiring motions; and dislocation, rearrangement, or de- 
composition is the result. 

NEW THEORY OF THE NATURE AND SOURCE OF THE SUN'S LIGHT 
AND HEAT. BY MR. NASMYTH. 

"That so brilliant a display is kept up by the combustion or 
destruction of something," remarks the Edinburgh Philosophical 
Journal, "appears to be generally, if not universally, maintained, 
but what that matter may be, and how supplied, no probable guess 
has yet been made. The intensity of the solar light and heat is 
easily proved, and that it resides chiefly, if not entirely, at the sur- 
face ; and that surface, on being closely watched, is found to be in a 
state of excessive agitation, and experiences periodical disturbances 
and alterations of a very excessive character. When periodical 
changes are seen, we may expect secular ones also ; and if the former 
were of a regular character the latter might be necessarily inferred ; 
but, although no regular law has yet been made out for the sun, 
the probability of their slow variations through long periods of time 
is great, and is increased when we turn our attention to those other 
suns, the stars, and find some of them increasing and others 
decreasing, or going through regular periods of varied lengths, and 
many degrees of gradation in brightness. The same may also be 
inferred from the geological discoveries, of there having been for- 
merly glacial ages in the world, and again torrid ones, for there is 
no other cause that we know of equal to produce the effects ob- 
served ; while, if our sun were to have increased or decreased in the 
amount of light and heat thrown out, as much as some stars have 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 153 

done during the last four years, all organic bodies might have 
perished on the surface of the earth before now from excess, or from 
lack of heat." 

Mr. Nasmyth's theory of Light and Heat, communicated to the 
Astronomical Society of London, affords a satisfactory explanation of 
these phenomena. The following are his views, expressed in his own 
language : — 

"Impressed with the conviction that the progress of science has 
often been most importantly advanced by the setting forth of hypo- 
thetical views as to the nature of those causes which result in great 
phenomena, I am, for these reasons, induced to hazard and venture 
forth with some views on the subject of the nature of solar light, 
more especially in reference to the well-known but most remarkable 
phenomena occurring in the case of stars of variable and transitory 
brightness ; as also in reference to those wonderful results of geolo- 
gical research, namely, the unquestionable evidence of the existence 
of an arctic or glacial climate in regions where such cannot now 
naturally exist ; thus giving evidence of the existence of a condition 
of climate, for the explanation of which we look in vain to any, at 
present, known cause. 

" I must plead the fact of the existence of such wonderful pheno- 
mena as these alluded to as my apology for thus attempting to come 
forth with what, although they may appear crude, theoretical 
notions, yet may, as tending to direct increased attention to im- 
portant phenomena, lead in due time to the development of truth, 
and extend the present bounds of our knowledge of those mighty 
laws which are so mysteriously indicated by the existence of the 
phenomena in question, and with the evidences of which we are yet* 
surrounded. 

" A course of observations on the solar spots, and on the remark- 
able features which from time to time appear on the sun's surface, 
which I have examined with considerable assiduity for several years, 
had in the first place led me to entertain the following conclusion, 
namely, that, whatever be the nature of solar light, its main source 
appears to result from an action induced on the exterior surface of 
the solar sphere — a conclusion in which I doubt not all who have 
attentively pursued observations on the structure of the sun's surface 
will agree. 

" Impressed with the correctness of this conclusion, I was led to 
consider whether we might not reasonably consider the true source 
of the latent element of light to reside, not in the solar orb, but in 
space itself ; and that the grand function and duty of the sun was to 
act as an agent for the bringing forth into vivid existence its due 
portion of the illuminating or luciferous element, which element 
I suppose to be diffused throughout the boundless regions of space, 
and which in that case must be perfectly exhaustless. 

" Assuming, therefore, that the sun's light is the result of some 
peculiar action by which it brings forth into visible existence the 
element of light, which I conceive to be latent in, and diffused 



154 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

throughout, space, we have but to imagine the existence of a very I 
probable condition, namely, the unequal diffusion of this light-! J 
yielding element, to catch a glimpse of a reason why our sun may,, I 
in common with his solar brotherhood, in some portions of his vast;! 
stellar orbit, have passed, and may yet bave to pass, through regions 
of space, in which the light-yielding element may either abound or | 
be deficient ; and so cause him to beam forth with increased splendour, 
or fade in brilliancy, just in proportion to the richness or poverty of.' 
this supposed light-yielding element as may occur in those regions ol ] 
space through which our sun, in common with every stellar orb, has 
passed, is now passing, or is destined to pass, in following up their- 1 
mighty orbits. 

"Once admit that this light-yielding element resides in space, and j 
that it is not equally diffused, we may then catch a glimpse of the 
cause of the variable and transitory brightness of stars, and more | 
especially of those which have been known to beam forth with such 
extraordinary splendour, and have again so mysteriously faded away : 
many instances of which abound in historical record. 

" Finally, in reference to such a state of change having come over ] 
our sun, as indicated by the existence of a glacial period, as is now I 
placed beyond doubt by geological research, it appears to me no very I 
wild stretch of analogy to suppose that in such former periods of the I 
earth's history our sun may have passed through portions of his] 
stellar orbit in which the light-yielding element was deficient, and ini 
which case his brilliancy would have suffered the while, and an arctic 1 
climate in consequence spread from the poles towards the equator, S 
and leave the record of such a condition in glacial handwriting on the 
-everlasting walls of our mountain ravines, of which there is such \ 
abundant and unquestionable evidence. As before said, it is the 
existence of such facts as we have in stars of transitory brightness, 
and the above-named evidence of an arctic climate existing in what 
are now genial climates, that requires some adequate cause to be ( | 
looked for. I have accordingly hazarded the preceding remarks as 
suggestive of a cause, in the hope that the subject may receive that 
attention which its deep interest entitles it to obtain. 

"This view of the source of light, as respects the existence of the 
luciferous element throughout space, accords with the Mosaic account 
of creation, in so far as that light is described as having been created 
in the first instance before the sun was called forth." — Chemical 
Record, No. 2. 



ON THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE AIK. BY M. LEWY. 

The author states, that ever since the month of March in the 
year 1850, he has been occupied with the Analyses of the Air, taken 
in the City of Santa-Fe de Bogota, and that he has lately arrived at 
very extraordinary results, relating to the proportion of carbonic 
acid. He found, in August and September, 47 volumes of this acid 
in 10,000 volumes of air; whereas in the months of March, April, 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 155 

May, June, and July, the quantity of carbonic acid never exceeded 
3 to 4 volumes in the same quantity of air. 

M. Lewy's experiments on atmospheric air, collected at the surface 
of the Atlantic Ocean during his voyage, have developed a fact which 
is new and very general, and appeared in every analysis : it is, that 
the air taken during the day contains more oxygen and more carbonic 
acid than the air taken during the night ; this difference of compo- 
sition, the author is of opinion, has not hitherto been observed ; all 
his analyses, without exception, confirm this result, that there is 
more carbonic acid and more oxygen during the day than in the night, 
and the differences are more marked in clear than in foul weather. 

M. Lewy gives the results of two analyses of air at a great distance from land, 
taken at random: — 

December 18th, 1847, 3 p.m. : weather fine ; wind east, strong breeze ; tem- 
perature, 24° C. ; north latitude, 21° 9' ; west longitude, 42° 25'. 

December 4th, 1847, 3 a.m., weather fine; wind north-west; strong breeze; 
temperature, 13° C. ; north latitude, 47° ; west longitude, 13°. 

Composition of the air in volumes. 

Oxygen. Nitrogen. Car. acid. 

December 18, day 2105973 78-88637 00005390 

December 4, night 2096084 7900660 0-0003336 

The difference, it will be observed, is very appreciable; and as the analyses 
were performed with M. Regnault's eudiometer, the author is of opinion that he 
can rely upon them to l-10,000th of the volume. 

The existence of the larger quantity of oxygen in the air taken 
during the day, may perhaps be explained on the supposition that the 
sun, by heating the surface of the sea, occasions a disengagement 
of the air dissolved in the water, which air is richer in oxygen than 
that of the atmosphere. It may be conceived that from this cause 
the stratum of air in contact with the sea is affected in its composi- 
tion. — Comptes Rendus, November 18, 1850. 



METHOD OF OBTAINING OXYGEN PROM ATMOSPHERIC AIR. 
BY M. BOUSSINGAULT. 

Lavoisier resolved Atmospheric Air into its constituents by keeping 
a confined portion for twelve days in contact with mercury heated 
nearly to its boiling-point. Boussingault has attempted to use baryta 
for the purpose of extracting the oxygen from the atmospheric mix- 
ture in large proportion. The method is simple : the air is conducted 
over pieces of baryta at a dark -red heat until it has become con- 
verted into peroxide of barium ; the oxygen is subsequently again 
expelled by the application of a more intense heat. The moisture 
and carbonic acid usually present in the air do not materially interfere 
with the process. The baryta, however, contained so much alumina 
and silica, that after repeated use it became caked, and hence no 
longer of any use. Pure baryta was free from this inconvenience. 
According to Boussingault, on the large scale, on using 10 kilo- 
grammes of baryta, which absorb 730 litres of oxygen, and should 
again part with it, 600 litres is the quantity always obtained in 
practice. Hence with furnaces in which 100 kilogrammes of baryta 



156 TEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

distributed in 8 to 10 tubes can be heated at once, from 24,000 to 
30,000 litres of oxygen may be produced in twenty-four hours. — 
Comptes Rmdus, vol. xxxii. pp. 266, 267 ; Philosophical Magazine, 
No. 6. 



ON THE PRESENCE OF AMMONIA IN HAILSTONES. BY M. MENE. 

On Monday the 5th of May, there was a somewhat severe hailstorm 
at Paris and its environs. Being at the time in my laboratory, the 
idea occurred to me of collecting some of this Hail and submitting it 
to analysis. For this purpose I placed a piece of linen upon some 
trestles and collected about 800 grammes. I immediately melted it 
in a porcelain capsule with the addition of a little muriatic acid, and 
evaporated it to dryness. When this operation was on the point of 
completion, I was much astonished at perceiving the occurrence of 
crystallization at the bottom of the vessel. I tested some of these 
crystals, which in all weighed 2 - 78 grammes, and was satisfied that 
they consisted of muriate of ammonia. 

I must not omit to mention another circumstance, viz. when the 
evaporation was almost completed, a black carbonaceous matter was 
deposited in rings upon the glaze of the capsule : it resembled the 
charcoal of organic matters. These spots were very numerous, and 
I believe they were produced by particles suspended in the air, for 
I took every precaution to exclude foreign matters. — Comptes JRendus, 
May 19, 1851; Philosophical Magazine, No. 11. 



THE GENERAL DISTRIBUTION OF IODINE. 

The existence of Iodine in marine and fresh-water aquatic plants 
from all quarters of the globe, is evidence of the very general distri- 
bution of this substance.* The state of the earth at the periods of the 
old vegetation might be deduced from the proportion of iodine in 
their fossil remains. Coal, which is rich in iodine, must arise from 
plants developed on lands still washed by the sea; in anthracite, 
which contains less iodine than bituminous coal, we find that terres- 
trial vegetables have become mixed with cryptogamic plants of the 
coal formation ; and the lignites, which contain little iodine, show 
that the terrestrial species then predominated over the crust of the 
globe. Iodine appears in the lixivium of peat ; and its abundance in 
graphite seems finally to show, that this substance should be classed 

* Mr. Chatin concludes from his experiments : 

(1.) That those plants growing in running waters, or on the borders of large 
bodies of water which may be strongly agitated by the winds, contain more 
iodine than those of stagnant waters. 

(2.) That the proportion is very small in species that are imperfectly sub- 
merged or only at intervals. 

(3.) That the proportion of iodine appears to be independent of the nature of 
the plant or its place in the natural system. 

The antiscrofulous effects of the cress, Veronica Phellandrium, &c, are 
explained by the presence of iodine. 

Professor Balfour says, — "The larger quantity of iodine contained in plants 
growing in running water, may depend on the constant renewal of iron in solu- 
tion, — the water containing salts of iron." 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 157 

among products of organic and aqueous origin. Anterior to the coal 
formation, graphite would represent the oldest vegetation of the globe. 
Fresh-water animals contain iodine ; they even contain more than 
the plants which grow in the same water. From numerous experi- 
ments, it may be presumed that iodine exists in variable proportions 
in all the waters of the globe. The richness of waters in iodine may 
be presumed according to the more or less ferruginous nature of the 
lands they wash. The proportion of iodine ordinarily increases in 
water with that of iron, so that waters which are called ferruginous, 
might just as properly be called ioduretted waters. Waters of igneous 
rocks are more ioduretted on the average, and especially more uni- 
formly than those of sedimentary earths. The waters of the coal 
formation are rich in iodine, but the waters of essentially calcareous 
and magnesian earths contain very little of this substance. Iodides 
are not necessarily proportional to the chlorides. Waters of rivers 
are, on an average, more ioduretted and less charged with earthy 
salts than those of springs ; the waters of wells, however, are at once 
most calco-magnesian and least ioduretted. The proportion which 
exists between the iron and the iodine of waters, the easy decom- 
position of the iodide of iron, and the complete decomposition of the 
iodide of the waters in evaporation without the addition of potassa, 
render it probable that the iodine exists in them as iodide of iron. 
Fermented liquors contain iodine : wine, cider, and perry, are more 
ioduretted than the average of fresh waters. Milk is richer in iodine 
than wine ; independently of the soil, with which it varies, the pro- 
portion of iodine in milk is in the inverse ratio of the abundance of 
that secretion. Eggs (not the shell) contain much iodine. A fowl's 
egg weighing fifty grains contains more iodine than a quart of cow's 
milk. Iodine exists in various soils. It is abundant in sulphur, and 
in ores of iron and manganese, and sulphuret of mercury; but rare 
in gypsum, carbonates of lime, and silicious earths. Any attempt to 
extract iodine economically, should be made from fuci. Most of the 
bodies regarded by therapeutists as pectoral and anti- scrofulous are 
rich in iodine. — Jameson's Journal, No. 101. 



IODINE IN ALUMINOUS SLATES. 

Some years ago, M. Forchammer brought forward an ingenious idea 
respecting the part which the species of Fucus take in the formation 
of Aluminous Slates. It consisted in admitting that the fuci, after 
having accumulated in their substance the sulphates contained in 
sea-water, converted by putrefaction after death the sulphate of 
potash into sulphuret of potassium; this in turn precipitated the 
iron contained in the sea water in the state of sulphuret of iron, 
which became mixed with the clay and other substances, some of 
which are organic, and owe their presence to the putrefaction of the 
fuci. Chemical analysis, by demonstrating the presence of iodine 
in aluminous slates, added a new and powerful argument in favour 
of this hypothesis. The ash of fuci contains, in fact, a considerable 
quantity of iodine, which might lead to the supposition that this 



158 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

substance would be also found, at all events in small quantity, in 
these deposits, if the fuci really take that part in the formation of 
these slates which M. Forchammer attributes. Now, M. Genteles, 
while engaged in some researches on the manufacture of alum, 
has isolated iodine from the aluminous slates of Latorp in Sweden. 
This discovery, joined to that of Duflos, of the presence of iodine 
and bromine in the coals of Silesia, will suffice to draw the attention 
of geologists to the confirmation which they furnish of the ideas of 
M. Forchammer, respecting the formation of the aluminous schists. 



IODINE IN THE ATMOSPHERE — RAIN, DEW, AND SNOW. 

Mr. Chatin, who followed with so much success Muller in his 
investigations in the distribution of Iodine, has announced to the 
French Academy of Sciences the important fact of the existence of 
that substance in the atmosphere, also in rain-water, dew, and snow. 
It thus appears, that iodine is very generally distributed, having 
been detected in the waters of the ocean, lakes, and springs, in the 
solid crust of the earth in various mineral compounds, — in many 
plants, chiefly, if not entirely, aquatic, in animals, and now as an 
ingredient in the earth's atmosphere, — and in rain, dew, and snow. 

We may add, that the late discovery in the air we breathe of 
iodine and ozone, shows the importance of a more continued chemical 
investigation of the atmosphere, particularly during the rise and 
progress of disease. It is, indeed, strange to observe the time of 
even accomplished chemists dissipated on subjects of but small value, 
while the magnificent chemistry of the atmosphere is neglected. 

Iodine has been detected in the following Plants : — 

Nasturtium officinale, very distinct. Eanunculus fluitans, very distinct. 

Caltha palustris, traces. Chara fsetida, very distinct. 

Carex paludosa, traces. Lemna minor, traces. 

caespitosa, traces. Glyceria fluitans, distinct. 

viparia, traces. Helosciadium nodiflorum, distinct. 

Arundo phragmites, distinct. Epilobium tetragonum, very distinct. 

Villarsia nymphseoides, very distinct. Iris Pseudacorus, distinct, 

Nelumbrium luteum, traces. Osmunda regalis, traces. 

speciosum, traces. Inula Helemum, slight traces. 

Nymphuea alba, very distinct. Scrophularia aquatica, distinct. 

Lotus, Egypt, traces. Valeriana dioica, traces. 

Nuphar luteum, very distinct. Eanunculus Flammula, traces. 

Potamogeton pectinatum, very distinct sceleratus, traces. 

Myriophyllum verticillatum, very dis- Lingua, traces. 

tinct. Cardamine pratensis, marshes of Yille 
Ceratophyllum demersum, traces. d' Arvey, traces of Iodine ; while in 
submersum, very dis- Cardamine pratensis of the elevated 

tinct. meadows of Ville d' Arvey no iodine 

Typha minima, traces. was found. 

Iodine has been found also in Agaves and other plants growing on the 
floating islands of the lakes of Mexico. — Jameson's Journal, No. 101. 



NEW TEST FOR IODIDES. 

Dr. David S. Price, having, in a preceding paper, pointed out 
the principle on which the detection of nitrites, by means of iodide 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 159 

of potassium and hydrochloric acid, depends, proceeds briefly to de- 
scribe the application of nitrites for the detection of iodides. 

The method of employing the test is the following : — The liquid 
suspected to contain an iodide is mixed with starch paste, and acidi- 
fied with hydrochloric acid ; a solution of nitrate of potassa is then 
added, when, if much iodine be present, a dark blue colour will be 
instantly produced ; if a very small quantity only, as, for instance, 
the two or three millionth part, then a few seconds elapse before the 
blue colour makes its appearance. In this manner Dr. Price has 
detected the ^jottbjootj^ P ar ^ °f iodine dissolved in water as iodide 
of potassium. It will be seen that the test admits of a degree of 
delicacy not attainable by any of the other methods for detecting 
iodides, as well as being at the same time free from the disadvantages 
to which they are more or less subject ; as, for instance, in the employ- 
ment of chlorine, which, unless added very carefully to a liquid con- 
taining a trace of an iodide only, is almost sure to afford a negative 
result, from the chlorine combining with the iodine, and so preventing 
its acting on the starch. The same error may also arise by the use 
of nitric acid, should the suspected liquid largely contain chlorides. 

Dr. Price then details the two cases in which he has applied this 
test, in the one for the purpose of detecting iodine in cod-liver oil, 
the object being to see how small a quantity of the oil would suffice ; 
in the other, for the purpose of detecting iodine in marine vegetation. 
One ounce of ordinary brown cod-liver oil was saponified by a con- 
centrated solution of caustic potash, and then carbonized in an iron 
spoon over an open fire ; the residue was removed into a covered 
porcelain crucible and strongly heated, so as effectually to destroy 
all organic matter, and when cold, was digested with a small quantity 
of water and thrown upon a filter ; the filtrate being acidified with 
hydrochloric acid, was then mixed with starch paste, and tested with 
nitrite of potassa, which almost immediately produced a plum colour. 

Sea-water contains so small an amount of iodine, that it is exceed- 
ingly difficult to detect even a trace of it in the mother liquor, from 
several pounds of water. Minute as this quantity must be, it is 
nevertheless collected and assimilated by many marine plants, and 
the following experiment enables us to demonstrate its presence in 
their juices. If we take a thin transverse sectional slice of the stem 
of the Fucus laminaria digiiata, moisten it with a little starch-paste 
and dilute hydrochloric acid, and examine it by the aid of the micro- 
scope, we shall, upon adding a drop of a solution of nitrite of potassa 
to the same, be able most distinctly to observe the formation of iodide 
of starch. The presence of an iodide may be shown in a still more 
marked manner, by suspending the stem of the same plant in a dry 
atmosphere ; when the surface, after the lapse of some hours or days, 
will become covered with numerous transparent crystals, which, on 
examimation, will be found to consist principally of chlorides, but at 
the same time to contain so much of an iodine-compound, as to impart 
an intense blue colour to the test mixture. 

Many marine plants, when placed in a fresh state in contact with 



160 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

the test mixture, impart an orange colour to it, owing to the libera- 
tion of bromine. — Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society, No. 14. 



CHEMICAL THEORY OF THE FORMATION OF MOUNTAINS. 

Prof. Gorini, of the University of Lodi, has exhibited a remark- 
able experiment illustrative of his theory as to the formation of 
mountains. He melts some substances, known only to himself, in a 
vessel, and allows the liquid to cool. At first, it presents an even 
surface ; but a portion continues to ooze up from beneath ; and gra- 
dually elevations are formed, until at length ranges and chains 
of hills are formed, exactly corresponding in shape with those 
which are found on the earth. Even to the stratification, the 
resemblance is complete, and M. Gorini can produce on a small scale 
the phenomena of volcanoes and earthquakes. He contends, there- 
fore, that the inequalities on the face of the globe are the result of 
certain materials, first reduced by the application of heat to a liquid 
state, and then allowed gradually to consolidate. 



OXIDATION OF AMMONIA IN THE HUMAN BODY. — NITRIFICATION. 

Dr. H. Bence Jones, in a paper of experiments communicated to 
the Royal Society, has arrived at the following conclusions : — 

1. That the action of oxygen takes place in the body, not only on 
hydrogen, carbon, sulphur and phosphorus, but also on nitrogen. 

2. That in all cases of combustion, out of the body and in the 
body, if ammonia be present, it will be converted partly into nitric 
acid. 

3. That the nitrogen of the air is not indifferent in ordinary cases of 
combustion, but that it gives rise to minute quantities of nitric acid. 

He further remarks, that the production of nitric acid from am- 
monia in the body adds another to the many instances of the action 
of oxygen in man ; and that the detection of nitric acid in the urine 
may lead to the conclusion, that the blood is being freed from am- 
monia, or from substances closely related to it, as urea, or possibly 
caffeine and other alkaloids. 



PECULIAR PROPERTY OF ETHER AND SOME ESSENTIAL OILS. 

Dr. C. F. Schonbein, in a paper read to the Chemical Society, 
refers to a property similar to that which phosphorus has been long 
known to possess, when put, under certain circumstances, in contact 
with pure oxygen, or with atmospheric air, of developing a highly 
oxidizing agent, which has been called ozone. The author finds that 
if a little pure ether be put into a bottle filled with pure oxygen or 
atmospheric air, and exposed to diffused light, the bottle being occa- 
sionally shaken, the ether, after the lapse of four months, will have 
acquired new properties. Although producing no action upon blue 
litmus paper, it will discharge the colour of solution of indigo, 
convert pure phosphorus when immersed in it into phosphoric 
acid, eliminate iodine from iodide of potassium, change pure sul- 
phate of protoxide of iron to the basic and acid sulphates of 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 161 

the deutoxide, transform yellow prussiate of potash into the red salt, 
convert sulphuret of lead into the sulphate, &c. Similar effects are 
produced with oil of turpentine and oil of lemons when treated in the 
same way as the ether. The author expresses an opinion that the 
property which these substances thus acquire is due to the presence 
of oxygen in a chemically exalted condition. 

DIBENZOYLAMTDE, A NEW DERIVATIVE OF OIL OF BITTER ALMONDS. 
BY MR. J. H. ROBSON. 

On treating an alcoholic solution of Oil of Bitter Almonds with 
ammonia, a granular deposit, insoluble in alcohol, and a resinous 
substance were obtained. The latter, after being boiled with a 
strong solution of potassa, and subsequently with dilute hydrochloric 
acid to remove any portion of amerine that might be formed, was 
treated with boiling alcohol, which dissolved a considerable portion 
of it, but left a yellowish powder, which was almost entirely inso- 
luble in ether, but was more soluble in wood-spirit, from which it 
was deposited in brilliant feathery crystals. This body was found to 
have the composition represented by the formula C g8 H 13 N 0, The 
provisional name dibenzoylamide is proposed for it. — Proceedings of 
the Chemical Society. 



PROCESS FOR DETERMINING THE QUANTITY OF HYDROCYANIC, PRESENT 
IN MEDICINAL PRUSSIC ACID, BITTER-ALMOND WATER, AND LAUREL 
WATER. BY JUSTUS LIEBIG. 

If a liquid containing Hydrocyanic Acid be mixed with caustic 
potash until evidence of a strong alkaline reaction is afforded, and 
a dilute solution of nitrate of silver be now slowly added to it, a 
precipitate will be formed, which, up to a certain point, immediately 
disappears again on ignition. If the hydrocyanic acid be mixed with 
caustic potash and a few drops of solution of common salt, it will be 
found that the first portions of silver solution added to the mixture 
do not produce a permanent precipitate ; in this case the precipitate 
is white, and is, in fact, chloride of silver. 

The hydrocyanic acid liquid, mixed with caustic potash, contains 
cyanide of potassium, in which oxide or chloride of silver is soluble, 
up to the point at which the known double salt composed of single 
equivalents of cyanide of potassium and cyanide of silver is formed, 
that compound not being decomposed by excess of alkali. If, then, 
we know the precise quantity of silver contained in a solution of 
the nitrate, and likewise the quantity by weight or volume which 
must be added to a liquid containing alkali and hydrocyanic acid to 
produce a permanent precipitate, we can readily determine the pro- 
portion of cyanogen or hydrocyanic acid present in the liquid under 
examination, since one equivalent of silver corresponds exactly to 
two equivalents of hydrocyanic acid. 

The following method of performing this experiment may be easily 
followed : — Dissolve 63 grains of fused nitrate of silver in 5937 grains 
of distilled water : we thus get a test liquor of 6000 grains, 300 grains 

M 



162 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

of which correspond to one grain of hydrocyanic acid. The weight 
of the bottle containing this silver solution is then accurately taken 
and noted. 

A weighed portion of the medicinal hydrocyanic acid to be tested, 
diluted with three or four times its bulk of water, is then to be mixed 
with a solution of caustic potash and a few drops of common salt ; and 
to this mixture the silver solution is to be gradually added until a 
visible turbidity is produced, which does not disappear on agitation. 
The silver solution is then again weighed, and the quantity used will 
be shown by the loss in weight. Thus, suppose 60 grains of medi- 
cinal acid require 360 grains of silver solution, the proportion of 
anhydrous hydrocyanic acid present in the medicinal acid will be 
1*20 grains in two per cent. In testing by this method, an error of a 
grain or two in the quantity of silver solution used is not likely to 
occur ; but even this would not make a difference of more than l-100th 
or 1 -50th of a grain in the amount of hydrocyanic acid. 

The proportion of hydrocyanic acid present in any given sample of 
bitter-almond water and laurel water may be estimated in the same 
way. The latter is usually clear and transparent ; but the bitter- 
almond water is often rendered milky by the presence of small drops 
of oil ; this milkiness, however, is removed by the addition of three 
or four times its bulk of water, and the water thus rendered clear, a 
condition necessary for the correct application of the test. Some 
experiments made in this way, showed that laurel water contains 
about one part in 10,000 of anhydrous hydrocyanic acid, and bitter- 
almond water 1\ parts in 10,000 ; but as these preparations, as met 
with in commerce, are very variable in their composition, a ready 
method of testing them is of great value. 

The commercial cyanide of potassium may also be tested, and its 
value ascertained, by the same process. By its means it has been 
found that samples of this salt, prepared on Liebig's plan, were not 
so rich in pure cyanide of potassium as had been supposed, the 
proportions found being 63 "5 and 59 99 per cent. The extensive 
employment of this salt in electro-metallurgy at the present day, 
renders this means of testing valuable. — Chemical Record, No. 1. 



PREPARATION OF PHOSPHORUS. 

M. Donovan concludes a paper on "Suggestions," with recom- 
mending the following as the easiest and cheapest processes for 
obtaining Phosphorus : — 

Take of dense bones, crushed or broken into small pieces, as many 
pounds as may be deemed sufficient, say 10 avoirdupois pounds. 
Digest them in a mixture of 6 pounds of commercial nitrous acid and 
five gallons of water for a few days. When the bones feel perfectly 
soft and flexible, strain off the liquor, and add to it 8 pounds of sugar 
of lead dissolved in a sufficiency of water. An abundant precipitate 
will appear ; wash, and dry it by heat in the manner already directed. 
Its bulk will be reduced to one-half if it be heated red-hot in a cru- 
cible. Mix it well with one-sixth of its weight of fine charcoal powder 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 163 

or lampblack, and distil out of large earthen retorts properly pre- 
pared. 

The phosphate of lead resulting from the above process would, 
according to my trial, amount to 91 4 ounces avoirdupois. Giobert 
states that 100 parts of phosphate of lead precipitated from urine by 
acetate of lead afforded from 14 to 18 parts of phosphorus. If this be 
a correct estimate, the 91^ ounces should return from 12 ounces to 1 
pound of phosphorus. A large quantity of cartilage is also obtained, 
which is well calculated for making size, glue, and for many other 
purposes. 

The following is a shorter, neater, and less troublesome, although 
a little more expensive process for preparing Phosphorus, which may 
be employed when the quantity required is not very large. Take of 
unburnt shavings of hartshorn 1 avoirdupois pound; digest it for 
four hours in a mixture of 17 ounces weight of commercial nitrous 
acid and one gallon of water, Strain the liquor, and add to it 1£ 
pound of sugar of lead, previously dissolved in a sufficiency of water : 
mix, and let the precipitate subside. Pour off the supernatant liquor; 
dry and wash the precipitate as already directed : mix it with one- 
sixth of charcoal powder or lampblack, and distil as before. 

The charcoal powder or lampblack will in all cases afford a better 
product if previously well calcined in a crucible covered with sand, or 
in any close vessel. The waste of phosphorus, by solution in the 
gas evolved during the subsequent distillation, will thus be much 
lessened ; and the same end will be further promoted by a previous 
exposure of the phosphate of lead to an obscure red-heat, which 
will also cause a reduction of bulk to one-half. — Philosophical Maga- 
zine, No. 10. 



THE KOH-I-NOOR DIAMOND. 

Dr. Beke has communicated to the British Association some ac- 
count of a Diamond Slab, supposed to have been cut from the Koh- 
i-Noor. It appears that in 1832, the Persian army of Abbas Meerza 
for the subjugation of Khorassan found at the capture of Coocha 
among the jewels of the harem of Reeza Kooli Khan, a large diamond 
slab, supposed to have been cut from the Koh-i-Noor ; it weighed 
130 carats and showed the marks of cutting on the flat or largest 
side. The only account that could be obtained of it was the state- 
ment that it was found in the possession of a poor man, a native of 
Khorassan, and that it had been employed in his family for the 
purpose of striking a light against a steel, and in this rough service 
it had sustained injury by constant use. The diamond was presented 
by the Prince of Persia to his father Futteh Ali Shah. The Armenian 
jewellers of Tehraun asked the sum of 20,000 tomauns (about 
16,000Z. sterling) for cutting it, but the Shah was not disposed to 
incur the expense. These particulars had been forwarded to Dr. 
Beke by his brother, Mr. W. G. Beke, late colonel of engineers in the 
Persian service and Khorassan campaign. 

M 2 



164 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

NEW METAL. 

Prof. Faraday has read to the British Association extracts from 
a letter by Prof. Bergeman, of Bonn, and exhibited a specimen of 
Orangite, the mineral affording the new metal Donarium, which was 
stated as easily to be reduced by potassium and sodium, in preference 
to reduction by the gas hydrogen ; and as fear had been entertained 
for the perfect preservation of the properties of the new metal if 
exposed to the chances of a sea voyage, as it readily tarnishes and 
oxidizes, the discoverer had thought it more expedient to send a spe- 
cimen of the hydrated oxide of Donarium. In allusion to the state- 
ment that Prof. Rose had repeated and confirmed these results, Dr. 
Faraday expressed an opinion that chemists had of late years viewed 
with regret the increase in the number of metals, and hoped that the 
day was not far distant when some of the metals would afford honour 
to chemists by new modes of investigation leading to their decom- 
position. 



ANALYSIS OF TWO SAMPLES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOLD. 

The Gold is found in little thin leaflets, amidst cubical crystals of 
oxide of iron, which is partly mixed with it, so that it cannot be 
freed entirely by mechanical means. One sample, freed as much as 
possible by mechanical means of the oxide of iron, was of specific 
gravity 14*63, and gave by analysis — 

"Gold 87-78 87-77 

Silver 6 07 6 54 

Peroxide of iron by loss 6-15 6.69 

100-00 100-00 

The alloy obtained was of specific gravity 18 83, and gave by analysis — 

Gold 93-53 9306 

Silver 647 694 

100-00 10000 
Another sample of the alloy submitted to analysis, gave — 

Gold 96-42 

Silver 3'58 

Andeew D. Thomas. 
" Patent Copper "Works, Burra Burra, 
June 1850." 

— Communicated to the Philosophical Magazine, "No. 3. 



COMPOSITION OF CORALLINES. 

M. Damour has communicated to the Comptes Rendus a table of 
analyses, which seem to indicate that the groups of Corallinacea? act 
the same part in the vegetable kingdom that the Polypi and the 
greater part of the Mollusks do in the animal kingdom. By means 
of their organization, these plants have the faculty of decomposing 
the water of the ocean, and to extract, secrete, and incorporate princi- 
pally lime and magnesia converted into carbonate. The development 

* Second analysis done by Mr. Frederick Walters. 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 165 

of these vegetables on certain coasts and in low lands, and conse- 
quently the deposits of magnesian limestone which they must occa- 
sion, seem also deserving of consideration in the study of geological 
formations. — Comptes Rendm, Fevrier, 1851. 



CARMINE SPAR. BY F. SANDBERGER. 

This mineral accompanies Beudantite at Horhausen : it occurs in 
tufts of slender needles, or in spherical masses with a radiated struc- 
ture; its crystalline form could not be determined. Colour, carmine- 
red, passing into brick-red ; it is highly translucent, with a vitreous 
lustre inclining to pearly. It is brittle, and appears to possess cleav- 
ages parallel with the faces of a rhombic prism. Hardness, between 
calcareous spar and rock salt. Heated in a closed tube, it experiences 
no alteration. Before the blowpipe it fuses readily upon charcoal 
into a gray scoria, diffusing copious arsenical fumes ; with soda, glo- 
bules of lead are obtained; and with borax, a strong reaction of oxide 
of iron. It dissolves readily in hydrochloric and nitric acids. 

The author was not able to obtain a quantity sufficient for a quan- 
titative analysis ; but his experiments appear to him to prove satis- 
factorily that the mineral is composed of the anhydrous arseniates of 
lead and iron. — Poggendorff's Annalen. 



INDESTRUCTIBLE INK. 

Take shell-lac 4 parts by weight, borax 2 parts, soft water 36 
parts. Boil in a close vessel till dissolved : then filter, and take of 
gum arabic 2 parts, soft water 4 parts. Dissolve and mix the two 
solutions together, and boil for five minutes as before, occasionally 
stirring to promote their union. When cold, add a sufficient quantity 
of finely-powdered indigo or lampblack, according to the colour re- 
quired : lastly, let it stand for two or three hours, until the coarser 
powder has subsided, and bottle for use. Use this fluid with a clean 
pen, and keep it in a glass or earthen inkstand, as many substances 
will decompose it in a liquid state. When dry, it will resist the action 
of water, oil, turpentine, alcohol, diluted sulphuric acid, diluted 
hydrochloric acid, oxalic acid, chlorine, the caustic alkalis, and the 
alkaline earths. This fluid, made in quantity, will cost about two 
shillings a gallon. — Chemical Record, No. 3. 



CAMPHOR. 

Prof. De Vry has communicated to the British Association a 
paper " On Solid and Liquid Camphor from the Dryobalanops Cam- 
phora." Dr. De Vry gave the history of the rarer species of camphor 
from Sumatra and Borneo, the price of which is thirty to forty times 
greater than that to be met with in commerce ; and after quoting from 
the work " De Kamferboom van Sumatra " of W. H. de Vriese, of 
Leyden, and the opinions of Berzelius and Pelouze as to the compo- 
sition, gave the experiments that led to his opinion that the fluid 
camphor or oil of camphor was rather to be regarded as a balsam than 



166 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

as an oil, and that the whole subject of the camphors deserved atten- 
tion to clear up the obscurity of their history. 

MODE OF DISTINGUISHING ARTIFICIAL FROM NATURAL CAMPHOR. 
BY J. W. BAILEY. 

By the application of polarized light, the smallest portion of 
natural camphor may be distinguished from the artificial camphor 
(chlorohydrate of camphene). If small fragments of each be placed 
separately on glass slides, and a drop of alcohol added to each, they 
dissolve and speedily recrystallize. If the crystallization of the 
natural camphor is watched by means of the microscope and polarized 
light, a most beautiful display of coloured crystals is seen ; while with 
the artificial product, nothing of the kind is witnessed. — Silliman , s 
Journal, May, 1851. 



NITRO-GLYCERINE. 

Prof. De Vry has communicated to the Chemical Section of the 
British Association a paper " On Nitro- Glycerine and the Products 
of its Decomposition." This yellow liquid, nitro glycerine, seems not 
to be poisonous, but it explodes at a moderate heat, as was shown by 
experiment, detonating when the drops of nitro-glycerine on paper 
were struck a smart blow with a hammer. 

Prom the conversation in the section, nitro-glycerine appears, like 
gun-cotton, to have states of apparent inactivity, which are removed 
by spontaneous causes : — for preparations that resist a certain amount 
of force applied at one time may readily explode soon afterwards. 



NEW CALICO DYE. 

Dr. Lyon Playfair has made to the British Association a com- 
munication from Mr. Mercer, "On a new Method of contracting the 
Fibres of Calico, and of obtaining on the Calico thus prepared colours 
of much brilliancy." Mr. Mercer had his attention drawn to the 
subject by experiments made as early as 1844. Dr. Playfair briefly 
called attention to the states of water, the points of maximum density 
so well known, and the experiments of Mr. Mercer, who found that 
above this point water flowed more rapidly through a syphon than at 
the same number of degrees below the point of maximum density. 
He then spoke of the theoretical views of those chemists who look 
upon the combined water as in the state of ice, or free from fluidity. 
Mr. Mercer's discovery may be stated in few words to be this: — a 
solution of cold but caustic soda acts peculiarly upon cotton-fibre, 
immediately causing it to contract ; and although the soda can be 
readily washed out, yet the fibre has undergone a change, and water 
will take its place and unite with the fibre. In a practical view, Mr. 
Mercer considered that the fibre might be considered by this action 
to have a sort of acid property to unite with soda and then with other 
bases. The effect of the condensation was said to be one-fifth to one- 
third of the total value of cotton employed. Dr. Playfair then showed 
some proofs of the influence of this new process upon our cotton 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 167 

manufactures : thus, taking a coarse cotton fabric and acting upon it 
by the proper solution of caustic soda, this could be made much finer 
in appearance ; and if the finest calico made in England, known as 
180 picks to the web, was thus acted upon, it immediately appeared 
as fine as 260 picks. Stockings of open weaving were shown, and 
the condensation process made them appear as of much finer texture. 
The effect of this alteration of texture was most strikingly shown by 
colours. The pink cotton velvet had its tint deepened to an intense 
degree by the condensation process. Printed calico, especially with 
colours hitherto applied with little satisfaction, as lilac, had strength 
and brilliancy, besides thus producing fabrics cheaply finer than can 
possibly be woven by hand. The effect was shown of patterns being 
formed by portions of a surface being protected by gum from conden- 
sation. Thus patterns of apparently fine work can easily be produced. 
It was stated that the fabrics by this process have much strength 
given them : for a string of calico one-half condensed by caustic soda 
will break by 20 oz., while the unacted-upon string of cotton broke 
with 13 oz. 

A discussion ensued, by the remarks of Dr. Faraday, Mr. War- 
rington, and Prof. Dumas and others ; and it was proposed that the 
microscope be employed to ascertain any other obvious change of 
properties by this new process, that bids fair to exercise an imme- 
diate and extensive alteration in the patterns and produce of cotton 
fabrics. Dr. Playfair, in reply, said, that caustic soda had long been 
used for bleaching, but this power of altering the texture only belongs 
to the cold solution of caustic soda. These specimens were the only 
complete ones, and he had been permitted to bring them from the 
Great Exhibition to exhibit before the Association. — Athenaeum, 
No. 1236. 



ON THE DETECTION OF SULPHUR. BY J. W. BAILEY. 

Dr. Playfair's beautiful salt, the nitroprusside of soda, is justly 
recommended by its discoverer as the most delicate of all tests for 
alkaline sulphides [sulphurets]. An application of it which is very- 
obvious, although not alluded to by Dr. Playfair, is to employ it not 
only as a direct test for alkaline sulphurets, but as an indirect one 
for sulphur in any of its compounds. Any substance containing 
sulphur will yield an alkaline sulphuret if heated with carbonate of 
soda, either with or without the addition of carbonaceous matter, 
according as a deoxidizing action is or is not required. The magni- 
ficent purple which is then produced by the addition of the fused 
mass to a drop of the solution of the nitroprusside, will at once prove 
the presence of sulphur. This reaction is so easily obtained and is 
so decisive, that the nitroprusside of soda must take its place among 
the most useful adjuncts to the blowpipe tests. By means of it the 
presence of sulphur in the smallest particles of coagulated albumen, 
horn, nails, feathers, mustard-seed, &c, which can be conveniently 
supported on a platinum wire for blowpipe experiment, may be most 
distinctly shown; and I have repeatedly obtained the characteristic 



168 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

purple tint in operating upon a piece of a single fibre of the human 
hair less than an inch in length. — Silliman's Journal, May, 1851 ; 
Philosophical Magazine. 

ON THE APPLICATION OF RECTIFIED OIL OF COAL-TAR TO THE PRE- 
SERVATION OF MEAT AND VEGETABLES. BY M. ROBIN. 

When the flesh of animals, entire birds with the feathers, vege- 
tables, fruits, &c., are placed in air-tight vessels filled with water, at 
the bottom of which there is a little oil of coal-tar, so that the 
substances to be preserved are covered by the water, which becomes 
charged with the vapour of the oil evaporating at the ordinary 
temperature, they are perfectly preserved from decomposition. — 
Comjrtes Rendus, vol. xxxii. p. 650; Philosophical Magazine, No. 11. 



NEW MODE OF EFFECTING THE PRESERVATION OF PUTREFACTIVE 
BODIES. 

It is well known that ether, alcohol, pyroxilic spirit, chloroform, 
and certain of the hydrocarbons, have the property of averting putre- 
faction. M. Robin advises the following method of employing these 
agents : — He encloses the meat or other substances to be preserved 
in a glass case, along with a sponge containing the preservative 
liquid, which latter is continually evolved in a vaporous condition, 
and exercises the preservative agency. In this way the vapours of 
hydrocyanic acid are found to be very efficacious. — Chemical Record, 
No. 5. 



HEAT OF CHEMICAL COMBINATION. 

Dr. Woods, of Parsonstown, in a paper communicated to the 
Philosophical Magazine^ No. 11, adduces several experiments to 
prove the simple fact, that decomposition of a compound body, occasions 
as much cold as the combination of its elements originally produced heat. 
" If admitted," says Dr. Woods, " some interesting difficulties may be 
removed by its application ; for instance, it explains why some com- 
pounds, such as alcohol, turpentine, &c, do not give out as much 
heat when burnt as their elements do when separately ignited. It 
may also be made the means of determining the amount of heat pro- 
duced by the combination of bodies, as the loss occasioned by their 
decomposition, shows the gain by their combination ; and in many 
other ways the principle may be turned to advantage." 



SPONTANEOUS DECOMPOSITION OF GUN-COTTON, AND ITS CONGENERS. 

Dr. Gladstone having occasion to prepare a variety of samples of the 
different substances produced by the action of nitric acid on woody 
fibre, starch, sugar, gum, &c, and having found that several of the 
samples, after being kept for some time, had undergone either partial 
or complete decomposition, describes the phenomena which were 
observed in each instance. From the observations recorded, the 
following general conclusion is drawn, with reference to the sponta- 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 169 

neous decomposition of gun-cotton and its congeners: — that sub- 
stances of this character have a tendency to suffer alteration in pro- 
cess of time, from half the oxygen of the peroxide of nitrogen, 
NO 4 , they contain, separating from the remaining NO 2 , which 
escapes as nitric oxide gas, and combining with the organic sub- 
stance, so as to fprm non-azotized acids, oxidizing at the same time 
a portion of the hydrogen, and causing it to be given off as water. — 
Proceedings of the Chemical Society. 



OF THE MANUFACTUKE OF PHOSPHORUS MATCHES IN RELATION TO 
HEALTH. 

As this branch of manufacture has obtained an unenviable cele- 
brity for its unhealthy character, the following contribution of Dr. 
Ebel is of importance: — He gives the result of his five years 
experience in the factory of Waldmichelberg, whence large sup- 
plies of matches are exported to all parts of Europe and America. 
He holds the same view with Dupasquier, Jiinken, Helflt, and others, 
that the disease is not produced by merely the inhalation of phos- 
phorus vapours. In the manufactory in question there are about 
200 individuals employed, male and female. The hours of employ- 
ment are from five to seven, and the meals are taken in a separate 
part of the establishment. The manufacture of phosphorus matches 
has been usually attended in similar establishments, with frequent 
necrosis of the under jaw; but in the manufactory of Waldmichel- 
berg no such disease had occurred, although caries of the teeth was 
very prevalent. — Chemical Record, No. 13. 



OZONE. 

Mr. Schonbein, pursuing his researches on Ozone, has remarked 
that this body may be formed by substituting for phosphorus, ether ; 
essence of turpentine, or of lemons. 

On introducing a small amount of pure ether into a flask filled with 
oxygen gas, or atmospheric air, and shaking from time to time, the 
ether had, after the lapse of four months, acquired new properties. 
Although it does not change the colour of litmus, it decolorizes 
indigo, converts phosphorus into phosphorous acid ; separates iodine 
from iodide of potassium, peroxidates the proto-salts of iron, trans- 
forms yellow into red prussiate of potash, converts sulphuret of lead 
into sulphate, &c. — Journ. de CJiim. Med., Sept. 1851. 



COMPOSITION OF THE GASES EVOLVED ON THE PRODUCTION OF 
COKE FROM COAL. 

The question might arise, whether in the formation of coke from 
coal in a furnace, the air which enters the furnace gives up its oxygen 
to the matters which are evolved in the gaseous state, or to the solid 
carbon; and again, whether the oxygen forms carbonic oxide or car- 
bonic acid. M. Ebelmen has examined the composition of the gases 
of the coke-ovens at Seraing, and found that more than two-thirds of 
the hydrogen of the coal is burned, the remainder existing in the 



170 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

evolved gaseous mixture. The quantity of carbonic acid is three times 
that of the carbonic oxide. — Comptes JRendus. 



NATURAL GAS ON CHAT MOSS. 

A correspondent of the Times states that in the third week ol 
December, 1851, a large blaze of Natural Gas was burning on Chat 
Moss, adjoining the line of railway between Manchester and Liver- 
pool. Having visited the spot, he gives the result of his observations 
and inquiries : — 

" It appears," he says, " that the gas was brought to light by some parties who 
were sinking for water. For the first 16 feet the boring was through moss and 
mossy substances ; then came about 16 feet of marl ; after which there were two 
or three feet of sand, and while scooping through this portion of the earth the 
gaseous earth made its appearance. The first indication of it was by a sudden 
noise or report, though not very loud, accompanied by a slight sulphureous 
smell. A stream of gas then floated along the surface of the ground, and a 
lighted candle being applied, the gaseous air immediately took fire, and was 
converted into a blaze of considerable dimensions. A long pipe, of about 10 or 12 
inches in circumference, was then procured, and inserted in the ground for 2 or 
3 feet in depth, and ascending upwards for about 35 feet. The gas, being thus 
conveyed above the level of the neighbouring forest trees, is allowed to burn with 
all its force, and exhaust itself on the desert air. I was told that it had been 
burning for the previous week, with one or two short intermissions, when the 
flame was extinguished by the high wind and storms, which are of no ordinary 
character within the confines of Chat Moss. The flame appeared to be 8 or 9 feet 
in length, and had a yellowish cast, mingled with beautiful tints of blue ; and the 
light thrown out by it was strong enough to enable me to see the time by my 
watch at the distance of about 100 yards. On putting my ear to the pipe, the 
sound of the gas travelling through it was distinctly heard, and resembled the 
noise that would arise from a quantity of water rushing along. I am informed 
that a similar bore has since been made on the Moss within 200 yards of the 
same spot, but not with the like result, no gas or gaseous matter being 
discovered." 



PAINE'S WATER GAS. 

This process was recorded in the Year-book of Facts, 1851, p. 83; 
and has, during the past year, been variously tested in the American 
journals. It is stated that more than a million sterling has been 
given for the American patent ; and Mr. Shepard's process (hereafter 
described) is referred to as a German modification patented in this 
country. The following is the statement made in the Patent 
Journal: — 

" Mr. Paine claims among other things to have discovered a means of increas- 
ing the powerof the magneto-electric machine to such an extent that he can decom- 
pose water rapidly with it; that he can take ajar of water, and, by means of the 
electricity induced by this machine, can convert the whole of it into hydrogen gas 
without the production of any oxygen whatever. He claims, also, that by chang- 
ing the electrical poles he can convert the whole of the jar of w- at er into oxygen gas 
without producing any hydrogen; that, after producing the hydrogen, as above, 
and passing it through spirits of turpentine, it becomes catalized, and then will 
burn with a clear and brilliant flame, — and this, too, without any loss to the 
turpentine by the passage of the gas through it. In regard to light, independ- 
ent of the other applications of the power, Mr. Paine claims to have discovered 
a means of producing it from water by electricity, at a cost infinitely less than 
any mode now in operation." 

Next, says the Atlienceum, No. 1224, wherein the above quotation 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 171 

appears, " if any scientific fact is established, it is the composition 
of water. Oxygen and hydrogen in combination, give us that 
valuable fluid. The conditions of oxygen, and its broad distinctions, 
chemically and physically, from hydrogen, have been determined by 
the most able investigators that the world ever produced. Lavoisier, 
Watt, Cavendish, Davy, and Faraday are not names to be treated 
lightly because a pseudo-scientific American press proclaims to the 
world its new views. Without, however, dealing with Mr. Paine's 
notions, let us see his mode of proceeding. By means of a magneto- 
electric machine — a pei'manent source of electricity — he decomposes 
water, and appropriates its hydrogen. Nothing very new or extra- 
ordinary in this. It has been done by hundreds of others. His 
conversion of a jar of hydrogen is a transmutation which we do not 
believe. When it is effected, we shall certainly have great hopes of 
finding the philosopher's stone. Hydrogen has small illuminating 
power ; it is, therefore, passed through turpentine, or some hydro- 
carbon, — by which it becomes carburetted, and burns with a rich 
amber flame. The question, therefore, when robbed of all its ab- 
surdities, is — whether hydrogen obtained by decomposing water by 
magneto-electricity, and then saturating it with carbon, by the use 
of a product artificially obtained, is less costly than distilled carbu- 
retted hydrogen ready formed from coal, or other substances which 
contain it in abundance. 

"To obtain the electro-dynamical effect of magnets, the armature 
must be set in rapid rotation. This mode of force is employed for 
electro-plating at Birmingham, and the magnetic machines are driven 
by steam-engines. If employed for making gas by decomposition 
from water, most enormous magnets must be used which will de- 
mand the power of very large steam-engines. Therefore, the question 
is — whether the coal burned in the furnace of the engine to drive 
the magnets would not jdeld as much gas as is produced by the 
electro-chemical decomposition ; and as this hydrogen gas requires 
a second, and not an inexpensive, process, of being passed through 
some hydro-carbon, whether coal gas will not be proved to be still 
the cheapest and the best?" 

However, Mr. Paine's process has been eclipsed in the land of its 
birth. A Mr. R. A. Fisher, of Providence, Rhode Island, has con- 
trived an "opposition Paine's Light," not only fully equalling it in 
brilliancy, but produced by the same means and by a similar appa- 
ratus, and upon principles known and published several years since 
in scientific works. 

Mr. Fisher's apparatus is similar to Mr. Paine's, and consists of a 
small gasometer filled with atmospheric air, and kept constantly 
supplied by a pump. From the gasometer, the air is conducted to 
a series of six tin canisters, of the capacity of a pint, arranged 
round a central one, a little larger than the others. In the first 
six canisters is placed a mixture of benzole, alcohol, and water, 
sufficient to fill them about one-quarter full. The mixture is made 
without reference to the quantity of each ingredient, but in such 



172 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

proportion as, by experiment, is found to afford the best light, that 
is, about one part benzole, one part alcohol, and half a part of water 
formed the most suitable mixture. The air is then made to pass 
continuously through each of these tin canisters, in very minute 
bubbles, through the contained mixture. From the last of the series 
it passes to the central one, which is empty, and serves as an air- 
chamber, by which a more steady light can be obtained, and any 
particles of the mixture passing over are arrested. From this chamber 
a tube arises, a couple of feet in height, at the top of which are the 
burners. 

" Thus, the whole operation consists in passing a stream of air 
through these small reservoirs of the volatile hydro-carbon benzole, 
in mixture with alcohol and water ; the vapour of which is taken up 
at ordinary temperatures, in quantity sufficient to burn with a beau- 
tiful white light." 

Mr. Fisher claims to have discovered nothing new, but he merely 
wishes to give credit to the real inventor, a Mr. Mansfield, of Eng- 
land, described in the Annals of Scientific Discovery, 1850, p. 191. 
This is true as respects the alcohol and benzole ; but the principle is 
much older, being fully described in Parnell's Chemistry. We 
abridge these details from the Scientific American, to which journal 
Dr. Foster, of Evansville, Indiana, has communicated a letter, which 
confirms all that has been said about the process, so far as the 
catalyzing of the hydrogen is concerned, to enable it to produce a 
white light by simply passing it through turpentine. 

In the Patent Journal it is stated: " About fourteen years ago a 
patent was taken out in England formaking our common coal-gas about 
20 per cent, more illuminating, by simply passing it through naphtha. 
In respect to the nature of our chemical lights, not a good one can 
be produced without the combustion of solid particles ; the gases to 
produce the incomparable Drummond light, give but a pale flame, 
until the piece of lime on which they are burned is ignited. The 
catalyzation of the atmosphere to produce a good light, is out of the 
question. It is not the production of a good light that is now 
wanted — it is a cheap good light ; and no light will be successful 
unless it can be produced at less expense than common coal-gas light." 



shepard's patent water-gas. 

An eminent German chemist has announced the discovery of a 
process by which the water may be decomposed, and the carburetted 
hydrogen formed at little more than a nominal cost, with unerring 
certainty, and in, practically, an unlimited quantity. The gas so 
produced is said to possess illuminating power far exceeding that of 
ordinary coal-gas; and is capable of producing, in the act of combus- 
tion, such an amount of caloric as to constitute an economic substitute 
for coal in the generation of water-steam for the propulsion of boats 
and locomotives. 

This invention has been patented in most of the countries of 
the European continent — in England, in Scotland, and in Ireland, 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 173 

by Mr. Shepard. We understand that the gas is capable of being 
adapted to all the uses to which steam power is now applied — 
the expansive gas itself performing the functions of high-pressure 
steam. The great value of the patent is said to be the low cost at 
which the gas can be produced. 

ON THE ALTERATION WHICH WELL-WATER UNDERGOES. 

The analysis which M. C. Blondeau has performed on the Water of 
a great number of the Wells of Rhodez, has led him to adopt the 
following conclusions : — 

1. Well-water may be altered by two causes: by the presence of 
mineral salts held in solution, and by that of animal matters. 

2. The mineral substances which occur in solution are silica, alu- 
mina, carbonates, and phosphates of lime and magnesia, potash, 
alum, chlorides of calcium, magnesium, and sodium, with nitrates of 
the same bases. These different substances are not hurtful to the 
animal economy, when they exist only in small quantity. Well- 
water (of which a litre ?) contains only four to five centigrammes of 
these substances in solution, may be employed for all domestic uses, 
provided it does not contain too large a proportion of animal matter. 

3. Water, of which a litre contains one gramme of the above- 
mentioned substances, may still be good for drinking ; but it is not 
fit for cooking vegetables or washing linen when it contains 0*1 
gramme of lime or magnesia. 

4. Water, of which a litre contains 0*1 gramme of lime or of 
magnesia, and 0*1 gramme of organic matter, is improper for any 
domestic use. 

5. It is of the utmost importance to state the existence, and 
determine the quantity of animal matter held in solution in waters; 
for if they exceed the limits above stated, they act disastrously on 
the economy, and may occasion dysentery, and various maladies 
which appear to be contagious, because the whole population acquire 
the seeds at the same sources. 

6. The presence of magnesia in drinkable waters does not produce 
so hurtful an action as supposed by some persons. The well-water 
of Rhodez contains on an average five times as much magnesia as the 
waters of the valley of the Iser, analysed by M. Granger ; and yet 
endemic diseases, as goitre and cretinism, are entirely unknown in the 
chief town of Aveyron. 

7. The water of certain wells possesses a very disagreeable earthy 
taste ; this taste is derived from alumina held in solution by carbonic 
acid. It is observed that those well-waters which contain most of 
this base have the strongest earthy flavour. 

8. It results from these experiments, that a classification of drink- 
able waters based on the relations which exist between the sulphates 
and the chlorides, must be a defective one ; for this relation varies 
with respect to the same kind of water, within limits of considerable 
extent ; and it is never certain that the water operated on has not 
met in its course either above or below the soil, with substances 



174 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

which have altered and changed the proportions in which these salts 
enter into its composition. — L'lnstitut, No. 851 ; Philosophical Maga- 
zine, No. 251. 



SULPHURIC ACID IN THE AIR AND WATER OF TOWNS. 

A report upon this investigation has been made to the British 
Association, by Dr. R. A. Smith. The experiments and observations 
of the report were generally directed to the existence and quality of 
sulphuric acid in the atmosphere of large towns, — and from the 
examples taken in and near Manchester. Dr. Smith, admitting that 
sulphurous acid was first produced by combustion, considered it was 
oxidized and carried down by rain as sulphuric acid, and usually 
associated with ammonia. Liebig had proved carbonate of ammonia 
to be present in the air. Dr. Smith found that rain-water was 
alkaline until boiling concentrated the sulphuric acid. Rain-water 
collected six miles from Manchester was such that it could not be 
used agreeably for drinking. He considers the soil as a great 
disinfectant of the rain-waters, — removing the acids, the ammonia, 
and the oily and carbonaceous matters, that give unpleasant qualities 
to rain-water. Rain collected even in fields on concentration had 
so much oily matter developed by evaporation, that suspicion of 
accidental impurity from the vessels employed was only removed by 
the employment of platina vessels. Specimens of air taken in the 
summers of 1850 and 1851 from the densest parts of Manchester were 
compared with air from the country. The quantity of sulphuric acid, 
estimated in a tabular form, ranged from 0'4 to 1*06 grains to the 
gallon, — the chlorine was from - 396 to 0'530 to the gallon; while 
the total quantity of inorganic matter in rain-water was from 0-8 to 
3 grains to the gallon. Dr. Smith alluded to the growth of conferva, 
and the production of some living bodies, and made observations on 
the office of rain-water thus clearing the air of matters affecting the 
health of man. — Athenceum, No. 1238. 



NICOTINE. 

M. Orfila has communicated to the Academy of Medicine, at 
Paris his Report upon Nicotine, which confirms facts already known ; 
and contains many new observations of interest to chemists and 
medical jurisprudence, relative to the properties of the poison and of 
its traces after death. 

According to this document, nicotine was discovered in 1809 by 
Vauquelin, and is to be found in different kinds of nicotiana in vari- 
ous proportions. Havannah tobacco contains 2 per cent, that of 
the Nord 6, Virginia nearly 7, and that of Lot 8. Smokers, by 
inhaling the fumes of tobacco, introduce into their system a certain 
quantity (though small) of poisonous matter. Pure nicotine hag the 
appearance of an oily, transparent liquid, of a pale yellow colour, 
which, after exposure, turns to brown ; it is very hot to the taste ; 
and its acrid smell slightly resembles that of tobacco ; but when 
volatilized by heat, it throws out characteristic vapours which are so 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 175 

oppressive, that breathing becomes difficult in a room where a drop 
of the liquid has been spilled. As a poisonous substance, nicotine 
possesses excessive power. In experiments made about ten years 
ago, in ten minutes, M. Orfila killed many dogs on the tongues of 
which he had applied five drops of this alkali; with twelve drops, 
death ensued in two minutes. But this powerful poison cannot escape 
the investigations of men of art. Pure nicotine (according to the 
conclusions of Messrs. Orfila and Stas) has certain characters by 
which it is detected as easily as a mineral poison. It can be disco- 
vered in the digestive channel and its existence therein proved, 
though that channel contain but a few drops. And even when the 
poisonous substance has been absorbed, when it has passed into the 
other organs, it can still be discovered in those organs and especially in 
the liver. M. Orfila has tried, on the liver of animals poisoned with 
twelve or fifteen drops of nicotine, two methods of chemical analysis 
which he describes, and he has invariably succeeded in procuring 
certain quantities of the poison sought for. 

M. Stas, by making use of a third method on the body of Gustave 
Fougnies poisoned by the Count Bocarme with nicotine, extracted it 
from the tongue, the stomach, and liquid contained therein ; he also 
found some in the liver and lungs, ffe moreover obtained it from 
the wood flooring of the dining-room in which Gustave died, although 
that flooring had been washed with soap, oil and warm water ; and 
in his learned investigation, the Belgian toxicologist had received no 
indication from the Juge oV Instruction. Before he was informed that 
Bocarme had been making experiments relative to tobacco and nico- 
tine, he had already found that the poison introduced into the body 
of the victim was neither sulphuric acid (as had been supposed), nor 
acetic acid, but either conicine or nicotine. 

Some experiments made at Brussels have excited much interest, 
although the results were not always decisive. Two di'ops of pure 
nicotine, applied to the tongue of a cock, caused death almost instan- 
taneously ; a young rabbit fell in a very short time, after uttering a 
few cries ; a small dog, to which nicotine mixed with ether had been 
administered, showed at first the same symptoms, followed by an 
abundant flow of saliva ; a plentiful supply of vinegar was then given 
to the animal, which appeared to be regaining strength, but it soon after- 
wards expired. A drop and a half of pure nicotine applied to the eye 
of a much larger dog, produced giddiness, followed by a marked cau- 
terization of the cornea ; in a few minutes the animal was again 
standing, and two or three drops of nicotine having been given to 
him, he turned round once or twice and struggled long against death. 
A still larger dog, after having taken ten drops of pure nicotine, lived 
for upwards of ten minutes. A cat, to which several drops of nico- 
tine were administered, had strength enough, after running round 
the room several times, to leap on to the window-sill and thence into 
the yard beneath, where it soon died. The smell of nicotine has great 
analogy to that of ammonia; in colour it resembles Madeira. After 
these experiments, the bodies of the animals were opened and examined. 



176 TEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Some experiments made by M. Vleminckx, of Brussels, on two 
sparrows, a cock, a rabbit, two dogs and a cat, have led the author 
to the following conclusions : — 

1 . The animals poisoned fell indifferently on the right side and on 
the left. 

2. The poisoning is more active by the mucous membrane of the 
eye than by that of the digestive tube. 

3. The most remarkable and most frequent anatomical lesions are 
congestion of the vessels of the pia-mater and especially intense 
congestion of the lungs. 

The first two conclusions follow a priori from the physiological 
data. Indeed, the nervous system being equal and perfectly sym- 
metrical, how can there be more tendency to action on one side than 
on the other ? And as to the second, the ocular mucous membrane, 
being covered neither with a layer of mucus nor with a thick 
epithelium like the digestive mucous membrane, should absorb more 
rapidly. — Presse Medicale Beige. 



PKOTECTIVE PAPEK. 

Me. Stones, of Queenhithe, stationer, has patented certain im- 
provements in the manufacture of Safety Paper for bankers' checks, 
bills of exchange, and other like purposes. 

The object of this invention is to produce a paper which shall by 
the discoloration of its surface indicate when an attempt has been 
made to obliterate or remove writings therefrom. For this purpose 
the patentee employs bromine, or iodine combined with ferrocyanide 
or ferricyanide of potassium and starch. Any combinations of bromine 
or iodine, with bases of various descriptions, may be used; but the 
patentee prefers iodide of potassium, both on account of its being 
more easily obtainable in the market than compounds of bromine, 
and because the colour of the paper is in no degree affected by its 
use. This substance is mixed with the pulp or with the size, or 
the finished paper may be prepared by being saturated with a solution 
of it; the ferrocyanide or ferricyanide of potassium is mixed with 
the size, or may like the metallic iodide be applied at a subsequent 
stage of the manufacture, and the starch is added to the pulp in the 
engine. 

The quantities required for the preparation or manufacture of safety 
paper may be varied, but the following proportions are stated to be 
suitable for the treatment of one ream of post, weighing about 18lbs. : 
1 oz. iodine of potassium, one-quarter ounce ferrocyanide or ferricy- 
anide of potassium, and one pound of starch. 

The effect of chlorine, or of a mineral acid, when employed to ob- 
literate or remove writings from this prepared paper, is to break up 
one of the salts, when the iodine will be liberated, and an iodide of 
starch formed, which is insoluble, and of a dark colour: or, if vege- 
table or mineral acids are employed, the small quantity of iron con- 
tained in ink would be affected by them, and the solution would 
combine with the ferrocyanide of potassium, and give rise to a com- 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 177 

pound of the nature of Prussian blue, by which all the parts of the 
paper adjacent to that operated on would be deeply and indelibly 
tinged, and the fraud attempted to be practised thus made apparent. 

AGKICULTUKAL CHEMISTKY. 

A paper has been communicated to the British Association " On 
Agricultural Chemistry, especially in relation to the Mineral Theory 
of" Baron Liebig," by Mr. J. B. Lawes and Dr. J. H. Gilbert. Mr. 
Pusey had, in a recent article in the Agricultural Journal, on the 
progress of agriculture during the last eight years, quoted the experi- 
ments of Mr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert as being conclusive as against 
the "mineral theory" of Baron Liebig, which asserts that the crops 
on the farm rise and fall according to the supply within the soil of 
the mineral constituents indicated by an analysis of the ashes of the 
plant. To these observations of Mr. Pusey, Baron Liebig has replied 
at some length in the new edition of his "Letters on Chemistry," 
just published ; and in doing so, has asserted that the experiments 
alluded to are without value, and that the statements of the authors 
could only be made in ignorance of the rationale of agricultural prac- 
tices on the large scale. The authors have therefore given in the 
present paper an outline of their investigations in agricultural che- 
mistry ; comprising an extensive series of experiments in the field on 
the growth of the principal crops entering into a rotation, as well as 
on the chemistry of the feeding of animals, and that of the functional 
actions of plants generally, in relation to the soil and atmosphere : 
in connexion with all of which branches much laboratory labour has 
constantly been in progress since the commencement of the experi- 
ments themselves in 1843. The results selected by Mr. Lawes and 
Dr. Gilbert, in justification and illustration of their views, were those 
of the field experiments on wheat, grown continuously on a previously 
exhausted soil for the last eight years, and in each season, by means 
of many chemical manures by the side always of one or more plots 
unmanured, and one manured continuously by farm-yard manure. 
Some of the results thus obtained were illustrated by a diagram, from 
which it appeared that mineral manures had scarcely increased the 
produce at all when used alone ; whilst the effects of ammoniacal salts 
were very marked, even when repeated year after year on the same 
space of ground from which the entire crop — corn and straw — had 
been removed. Indeed, in this way, a produce had been attained 
even in the sixth and seventh succeeding years of the experiment, 
exceeding by nearly two-thirds that from the unmanured plot. It 
was then .shown, that the mineral constituents of the soil continued 
to be in excess, relatively to the nitrogen available for them from 
natural sources. The history of several plots was then traced down 
to the last harvest (I860), and it was argued that the statements 
assailed by Liebig, viz. that ammonia was specially adapted as a 
manure for wheat, was fully borne out when speaking of agriculture 
as generally practised in <ireat Britain. In other words, that in 
practice it was the defect of nitrogen rather than of the mineral con- 

N 



178 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

stituents that fixed the limit to our produce of corn. The authors 
next called attention to the fact of the exhalation of nitrogen by 
growing plants, as proved by the experiments of De Saussure, 
Daubeny and Draper ; and they referred to some experiments of their 
own, with the view of showing the probability that there is more of 
the nitrogen derived from manure given off during the growth of 
cereal grains than by leguminous and other crops ; and hence might 
be explained the great demand upon nitrogenous manures observed 
in the growth of grain. The authors suggested that here was an 
important field of study, and that we have in the facts alluded to 
much that should lead us to suppose that the success of a rotation of 
crops depends on the degree in which the restoration of the balance 
of the organic constituents of crops was attained by its means, rather 
than on that of their mineral constituents, according to the theory of 
Liebig ; whilst the means adopted to secure the former were always 
attended with a sufficient supply of the latter. Again, Professor 
Liebig has quoted the processes of fallowing and liming, as being in 
their known results inconsistent with the views of Mr. Lawes and 
Dr. Gilbert ; but these gentlemen considered that the experiments of 
Mulder and of Mr. Way on the properties of soils, justified them in 
supposing that the processes of fallowing and liming owed their 
efficacy more to the accumulation of nitrogen in the soil from natural 
sources, than to that of available mineral constituents : the latter did, 
however, undoubtedly, thus accumulate by those processes, and this 
fact should give us more confidence in views which, on independent 
evidence, supposed that they were not so easily liable to be found in 
defect, in relation to other necessary supplies. 

It was next shown, by reference to what happens in general practice, 
in Great Britain, where corn and meat constitute almost the exclu- 
sive exports of the farm, that the mineral constituents of the crops, 
taken collectively, — that is, as shown by the analysis of their ashes, 
could not be considered as exhausted : of these, however, phosphoric 
acid was lost to the farm in much larger proportion than the 
alkalies; whilst the latter would, generally, by the combined 
agencies of disintegration of the native soil, and import in cattle 
food, be liable to diminution in but a very insignificant degree, 
if not in some cases to accumulation. Practical agriculture had, 
indeed, decided that phosphoric acid must be returned to the land, 
from sources external to the farm itself, — viz., by bones, guano, 
or other means. But, on the other hand, artificial alkaline 
manures had generally been found to fail in effect. Indeed, taking 
into careful consideration the tendency of all experience in prac- 
tical agriculture, as well as the collective results of a most labo- 
rious experimental investigation of the subject, both in the field 
and in the laboratory, it was the authors' deliberate opinion that 
the analysis of the crop is no direct guide whatever as to the nature 
of the manure required to be provided in the ordinary course of 
agriculture, from sources extraneous to the home manures of the 
farm, — that is to say, by artificial manures. Reviewing, then, the 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 179 

actual facts of practical agriculture, the authors could not agree with 
Baron Liebig when he asserted that our grand object should be to 
attain an artificial mixture to substitute for farm-yard manure, which 
he admitted to be the universal food of plants. The very practice of 
agriculture itself, as followed in this country, necessitates the pro- 
duction of farm-yard manure, and all our calculations should be made 
on the supposition of its use. — Athenceum, No. 1238. 



EMPLOYMENT OF VAKIOUS KINDS OF MANURE IN THE CULTIVATION 
OF TREES. 

M. Chevandier sums up the results of his researches by dividing 
the substances employed by him into the four following categories r — 

1. Those which possess a more or less marked fertilizing quality : 
these are sulphide of calcium, hydrochlorate of ammonia, poudrette 
(animal faeces mixed with charcoal, &c), lime, and bones. 

2. Those whose fertilizing action is not very marked, and even 
somewhat doubtful : these are carbonate of potash, coagulated blood, 
calcined bones, a mixture of equal parts of nitrate of potash, bones, 
sulphate of iron, and carbonate of lime, and that of nitrate of potash 
with an equal part of bones only. 

3. Those which do not appear to have any action on vegetation : 
these are carbonate of soda, nitrate of potash, and common salt. 

4. Those which appear to have an injurious action : these are sul- 
phate of iron, and mixtures of equal parts of sulphate of iron and 
lime, or sulphate of iron and carbonate of lime. 



MANUFACTURE OF BEETROOT SUGAR. 

Dr. Scoffern, in his Chemical Record, No. 11, thus describes the 
beautiful system of mechanical sugar-making appliances now followed 
by M. Van Goethem, at Lembecq, near Brussels : — 

The preliminary operation of cleaning the roots, grating them, and 
expressing their juice, need not be detailed. This juice is loaded 
with albuminous and other impurities to such an extent that if they 
be not separated within a few hours at farthest, fermentation will 
rapidly set in, and the contained sugar be destroyed. 

Mr. Van Goethem employs lime for this separation : he uses sugar 
of lead in the laboratory, and acknowledges it to be the better agent; 
but he fears to employ it on the large scale. Being defecated, the 
juice undergoes a series of mechanical treatments : first it is forced by 
means of a monte-jus up to the summit of a copper chimney, not 
made of one wall of copper, but is described as a flat copper chamber 
rolled into a cylindrical or slightly-curved form. Into the chamber 
itself steam is admitted ; the chimney thus having two hot or evapo- 
rative surfaces, one on the inside and a second on the outside. 

The beetroot juice, being conducted to the summit of this chimney, 
is then split into two divisions; one being caused to trickle down in 
contact with the inner evaporative surface, the other on the outer; 
and thus when the juice has arrived at the lower extremity of the 

n2 



180 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

chimney, it is found to have acquired a density of 28° Beaume, and 
is in a fit state to be passed through animal charcoal. 

After having been exposed to this charcoal filtration, it is passed 
down over a similar copper chimney a second time ; and this is all 
the evaporation to which the juice is exposed. 

Properly speaking, the juice cannot be said to have been boiled; 
and, at the period of the termination of final evaporation, not a 
crystal has formed. The concentrated juice is now put aside in 
shallow wooden tanks, lined with zinc, and abandoned to spontaneous 
crystallization. As soon as a crop of crystals is formed, they are re- 
moved by a kind of net, and exposed to the agency of centrifugal 
drainage. 

Centrifugal force as applied to the drying of cloth is familiar to 
most people, the apparatus being now exceedingly common in manu- 
factories. This rotatory apparatus, so useful in drying cloth, is, as 
will be easily understood, a valuable means of purifying sugar from 
all uncrystallized or uncrystallizable liquid matter. 

These machines are now employed in England and France, as well 
as Belgium; but it is believed that the establishment of M. Van 
Goethem is the only one in which these rotatory machines are used 
in connexion with spontaneous crystallization ; and in which the 
principle of rotation has been applied to the purification of sugar- 
loaves as well as sugar in disintegrated grains. 

Returning now to the wet crystals of sugar which have been taken 
out of the crystallizing tank — they are put into one of these rotatory 
engines, or turbines ; and the machine is made to revolve with the 
velocity of 1000 times per minute, the result of which is that a large 
portion of the uncrystallized matter is driven off. The crystals, now 
dry, but still dark coloured, and very small, are put into another 
tank, surrounded with a fresh quantity of concentrated juice, and 
allowed to remain at rest until they have grown to the size desired. 
They are then taken out and rotated again with the same result as 
before. The principle is the entire abandonment of every crystal- 
lizing means save the agency of spontaneous evaporation. There are 
some scores of these tanks, in which the original juice as well as the 
molasses, separated by rotatory agency, are abandoned to spontaneous 
crystallization. 

The result of this treatment is the production of sugar so pure that 
mere rotation will separate nothing further. 

Use is now made of a concentrated solution of pure sugar and 
water, which, being poured into the centre of the turbine during the 
period of rotation, rushes through the crystals and washes them 
white. 

The last stage consists in converting the disintegrated grains into 
loaves ; which is accomplished in the following manner : — The sugar, 
being mixed with a certain portion of concentrated solution of pure 
sugar in water, is heated for some time at a temperature of 173° F., 
and then poured into moulds. 

Loaves thus prepared are, like .all sugar-loaves at a similar stage of 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 181 

manufacture, mixed with a considerable amount of uncrystallized 
matter; which in sugar-houses, as ordinarily conducted, is allowed 
to leak away, and finally the loaf is washed absolutely white by 
pouring upon its face a certain amount of pure and saturated sugar 
solution. This treatment, however, occupies by the ordinary method 
a week at least; whereas M. Van Goethem, by having recourse 
again to rotation, accomplishes the desired end in about twenty 
minutes. 

This rotative loaf-machine consists of a horizontal wheel of iron, 
shaped like a steamer paddle-wheel, and fitted with peripheral rings, 
into each of which fits a sugar-loaf. There are fifty-one rings in all, 
arranged in three rows ; so it follows that fifty-one sugar-loaves are 
exposed to rotative agency at the same time. 

The machine is made to revolve at a velocity of about 1000 per 
minute, and with the result of showering forth all the wet impurities 
existing in the sugar-loaf through small apertures in the apices of 
the moulds. 

After the loaves have been rotated for about fifteen minutes, the 
operation of liquoring or washing takes place with the greatest 
imaginable ease — although the problem of pouring a liquid upon a 
vertical surface does not seem to be of the simplest kind. It will be 
seen, however, that the rapid centrifugal motion to which the loaves 
are exposed would prevent the loss of any fluid which might be found 
upon the bases or axial aspect of the loaves ; and, being found there, 
the same centrifugal force would cause the liquid to penetrate towards 
the orifices, and flow thence through the aperture of drainage. 

This pouring of a concentrated solution of sugar and water upon 
the basis of the loaves is effected by means of a large metal tube 
tending vertically down into the central orifice of the rotating wheel, 
and bending when arrived opposite the faces of the first row of loaves 
abruptly towards them at a right angle. Thus it follows that the 
amount of liquor being proportioned to the capacity of the space left 
on the base of each mould, not a drop is lost ; that portion which 
overflows the first row of loaves, after they can hold no more, passing 
on to the second row ; and the overflow from this passing on in its 
turn to the third, from which there is no overflow except the fluid 
has been added in excess. 

A few minutes' rotation suffices to drive thoroughly the loose part 
of the liquor through the sugar-loaves. The machine is then stopped, 
and the sugar-loaves taken out sufficiently dry for being stored. 

This large rotatory machine is, as might have been & priori 
imagined, rather dangerous. Some time since, at Valenciennes, 
one of these engines, yielding to the force of centrifugal power, burst 
into pieces, which, flying about, killed no less than eight men. 



TEAS OF COMMERCE. 

Mr. Warrington, in a paper read to the Chemical Society, having 
referred to a fact in a former communication, that the Prussian blue, 
together with gypsum and a yellow vegetable colour which proves to 



182 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

be turmeric, are used by the Chinese for glazing or facing some of the 
green Teas of Commerce, adduced further evidence in support of this 
statement, and in disproof of the assertion of those authors who have 
represented the blue colouring matter to be indigo. Some observa- 
tions are made on the causes of the characteristic physical differences 
which exist between black and green teas, both of which can be, and 
frequently are, prepared from the leaves of the same plants. These 
differences are ascribed to the manner of treating the leaves pre- 
viously to drying and roasting them, which gives rise to a species of 
fermentation accompanied with oxidation, by which the natural green 
colour of the leaf is destroyed, and a black tea produced. The author 
then describes a system of adulteration which appears to be practised 
in China to a great extent, and which consists in making the dust or 
powder of tea, together with sand and dirt, into a paste with gum, 
and granulating it so as to resemble genuine dried leaves. This mix- 
ture is coloured with plumbago for black tea, and with the facing 
already alluded to for green tea, and then scented. Such teas are 
designated by the Chinese "Lie Teas." 



ADULTERATION OF COFFEE. 

Dr. A. Hassall has reported to the London Botanical Society the 
results of 34 examinations of Coffee of all prices: from these it 
appeared that the whole of the coffees, with two exceptions only, 
were adulterated — that chicory was present in 31 instances, roasted 
wheat in 12, colouring matter in 22, beans and potato-flour in one 
only; that in 10 cases the adulteration consisted of a single article, 
in 12 of two, and in 10 of three substances; that in many instances 
the quantity of coffee present was very small, and in others not more 
than a fifth, fourth, third, half, and so on. Contrasting coffee and 
chicory, it was observed that, while the coffee-berry contains a large 
quantity of essential oil, visible in small drops in the cells, and upon 
which the fragrance and actual properties mainly depend, not a trace 
of any similar oil is to be found in the chicory-root. The properties 
of coffee are those of a stimulant and nervine tonic, with an agreeable 
flavour and delicious smell, not one of which properties is possessed 
in any degree by the chicory-root, it being rather aperient. Dr. 
Hassall regards chicory, therefore, as in every respect inferior to coffee ; 
and observed that if its employment be deemed in any way desirable, 
it should be sold openly, and not as at present, under the names of 
Ceylon, Berbice, Costa Rica, Mocha coffees, &c. 



IMPROVED PREPARATION OF BUTTER. 

M. Chalambel observes (in the Comptes Rendus), if Butter con- 
tained only the fatty parts of milk, it would undergo only very slow 
alteration in contact with the air. But it retains a certain quantity 
of caseum, which exists in the cream ; this caseum is converted into 
a ferment, and gives rise to butyric acid, to which the disagreeable 
taste of rancid butter is owing. The washings which the butter is 
made to undergo, can only imperfectly free it from this cause of 



OHSHXOAL SCIENCE. 183 

alteration ; for the water does not moisten the butter, and cannot 
dissolve the caseum, rendered insoluble, under the influence of the 
acids, which are developed in cream. A more complete purification 
may be arrived at, by saturating these acids, the caseum would again 
become soluble, and consequently the butter would retain only very 
small quantities, which would be removed almost entirely by 
washing. 

The following is the way in which I propose to operate : when the 
cream has been placed in the churn, pour in, by small portions at a 
time, and agitating the while, a sufficient quantity of milk of lime to 
I ntirdy. destroy the acidity; churn the cream until the butter is sepa- 
rated, but it must not be expected that it will collect in lumps as it 
generally does ; decant the buttermilk, and continue to churn until 
it is sufficiently collected ; it is then removed from the churn, and 
arranged in heaps as usual. By following this method, I have 
always obtained better products, and capable of being preserved for 
a longer time than those obtained by the common processes. The 
buttermilk loses all its sharp taste, and has been consumed with 
pleasure by people and animals, and has lost its laxative properties. 

We have also restored, by washing with lime-water, butter which 
could only be used for melting. Lime-water may be replaced by any 
other alkaline ley. — The Chemist, No. 27. 

PROGRESS OF PHOTOGRAPHY. 

The improvements in the art of Photography during the past year 
have been so numerous that we have only space to record the more 
prominent novelties, and point out the authorities for others. 

Albumenized Glass Plates. — The preparation of these plates pro- 
mised much, and in some hands — as in those of Messrs. Ross and 
Thomson, of Edinburgh, and Messrs. Langhenheim, of Philadelphia — 
the best results have been obtained. Essentially, their processes 
consist respectively of separating the fluid portion of the white of 
egg, and adding thereto a weak solution of the iodide of potassium. 
This is floated over a clean glass plate, so as to cover it with a very 
thin film, and carefully dried. "When this is completed, the prepared 
surface is dipped into a solution of nitrate of silver, and thus an 
iodide of silver is formed on the surface. This iodide of silver, being 
washed, as in the calotype process, with gallo-nitrate of silver, is 
very sensitive to the solar radiations, and being placed in the camera- 
obscura, is speedily impressed with a dormant image, which isdeveloped 
by the deoxidizing action of gallic acid. — Literary Gazette, No. 1825. 

Collodion Process. — Another process, the result of the researches 
of Mr. Fry and Mr. Archer, is in all respects similar to the foregoing, 
except that the albumen is replaced by collodion — gun-cotton dis- 
solved in ether. The result of this is the production of an exquisitely 

lace, upon which, l.y an exposure in the camera of but a 

single secom! mirable portrait! are obtained, from which, 

being negative pictures, any number of positive impressions 



184 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

fcan be obtained. — Literary Gazette, No. 1825. This process is also 
fully described in Mr. Archer's letter to the Athenceum, No. 1260. 
Mr. Robert Hunt, however, in No. 1262 of that journal, proves that 
he discovered the above remarkable property in 1840, and quotes the 
account of it from the Philosophical Transactions. 

Mr. Fry has since announced the discovery, that by a very slight 
addition of gutta percha to the collodion, a very superior surface is 
obtained, and the sensibility considerably increased. The use of sul- 
phate of iron instead of gallic acid is recommended. These improve- 
ments are entirely different from the patent processes. We have 
employed electricity to be our messenger and our metallurgist ; to 
register our time and blast our rocks ; and we have compelled light 
to do our bidding in its peculiar condition of polarization. Now we 
ask it not merely to imprint the images of external nature, which it 
does with more accuracy than any other pencil, but we desire the 
ethereal agent to paint them. — Literary Gazette, No. 1825. 

Whitened Camera. — In the Athenceum, Nos. 1214 and 1224 are two 
letters from Mr. Claudet, on the question of Whitened Camera ; which 
are exceedingly interesting both in a philosophical and practical point 
of view. M. Blanquart Evrard, of Lille, has in a note on " Photo- 
graphic," communicated by him to the Paris Academy of Sciences, 
given the following statement of his experiments : — " I have not 
only covered the dark chamber with white paper, but I have whitened 
the interior of the tube to the extremity of the lenses, usually black- 
ened by opticians, and under these circumstances I have obtained 
the following results : — 1. The formation of the image in one half the 
time required with the blackened camera. 2. The formation of the 
image by exposure to light which was insufficient for obtaining it 
in the darkened box. 3. Uniformity of impregnation ; the parts in 
shadow and the half lights being brought out before the illuminated 
portions are solarized. 4. Infinitely less resistance in the action 
of those coloured objects, red and yellow, which ordinarily present 
many difficulties to photographic action. Thus, not only are the 
results better, viewed in reference to artistic effects, but the photo- 
genic power of the lens is doubled by transforming the black chamber 
into a white one." 

Gelatine Plates. — M. Poitevin has detailed to the Paris Academy 
of Sciences the process employed by him for obtaining on paper 
positive proofs of Daguerreotype impressions, after having first ob- 
tained negative proofs on Gelatine Plates in a very short time, which 
may also either be used immediately, or be kept for an hour or an 
hour and a half before being operated upon. In his communication 
M. Poitevin first speaks of the care required in the choice of the 
gelatine employed, of its preparation, and of its application in a thin 
coating to the surface of the glass plates. All the transparent gela- 
tines met with in commerce are not equally good for photographic 
purposes ; some of them contain traces of iron (chloride of iron most 
probably) ; these must be rejected, for they are coloured black by the 
gallic acid employed in the process ; other sorts do not readily gela- 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 185 

tinify when dissolved, and run on the surface of the plates ; neither 
of these gelatines should be used. M. Poitevin thus proceeds to 
point out the proportions of gelatine, iodide of potassium, and nitrate 
of silver employed by him from December to April last, at which 
period he performed all his operations at a temperature of about 
12 c to 15° C. (53°.6 to 59° F.) 

Improved Paper. — If. Legray has described to the Paris Academy 
of Sciences, a method of preparing Paper so as to remove the inac- 
curacies which hitherto have arisen in its application to photogra- 
phic purposes ; and to show how easy of execution the process is, 
it is stated that M. Legray, whilst at work for the Commission on 
Historical Monuments, often took from twenty-five to thirty pictures 
a day. 

Enamelled Daguerreotypes. — Mr. Mayall, in the Athenceum, No. 
1234, gives the following process: — 

1st, After the Daguerreotype image is fixed with the gold solution, and before 
drying, pour over it a weak solution of isinglass, — three grains to the ounce of 
water ; colour the picture in the ordinary way, with fine pencils and dry powder, 
only a little more intense than usual. 

2nd, Make a solution of isinglass, —twenty grains to the ounce of water ; boil 
it in a pipkin, and filter through French filtering-paper; plunge the plate sud- 
denly into distilled water, taking care not to disturb the colour on the surface; 
tahile wet, pour a little of this solution of isinglass over it; let it stand a few 
seconds ; pour off; wash with distilled water, and dry in the usual way, taking 
care that the heat of the lamp does not render the surface iridiscent:— should 
it do so, again wash with water and re-dry. 

3rd, Any varnish will do, but I find clear mastic the best, because the most 
transparent ; a few grains of purple madder dissolved in it adds to the warmth 
of tone; filter through coarse blotting-paper; while the plate is yet warm, pour 
over it as much of this varnish as will just cover the surface; let it drip off at 
one end; change the direction of the flow, to avoid streaking; gently dry, hold- 
ing the plate at a considerable distance from the lamp, that the varnish may not 
take fire, — the varnish will harden in a few moments, and become thoroughly 
dry. It is finished. The tone of the picture is somewhat impoverished, but the 
plate will bear washing, and, if moderate care is used, without injury. 

Glazing the Positive Proofs. — Mr. Mayall also gives the following 
new process of glazing the positive proofs, which brings out the 
detail, and gives a finish to the drawing hitherto unattainable : — 

All the processes now described must be conducted in a room at a tempe- 
rature of 75° Fahr. 

First —Frame a piece of patent flatted glass of 26 in. by 22 in. with wood, like 
a boy's slate frame, taking care that the bevelled edge is very smooth and quite 
down to the (ace of the gtate. Clean the glass well with a little soda and water, 
not strung; let it dry; sponge over the surface very carefully with bullock's gall, 
full strength ; again let it dry. 

Second — Dissolve in water as much fine clear gelatine as will render the mass 
about the consistence of the albumen of a hen's egg, keep it at a temperature of 
about 120°. Upon the side of the glass that has been treated as directed in 
No. 1, pour on to the centre two fluid ounces of this solution of gelatine; keep 
it moving until it completely covers the surface of the glass ; pour off any excess 
at the four corners, and place the frame on a stand perfectly level; the gelatine 
surface will be nearly dry in about ten minutes. 

Third Slightly damp the poe i t i Te proof just wrflkri e nt ly to allow the crisp- 
nees of the paper to be taken out, but not more— say one wel sheet between six 
l when the gelatine I quite dry, but tHeky, rub the positive- 

proof face side upon it; press firmly upon every portion of the back of the proof 



186 BOOK OF I 

with the fmporp, so ns to mnkr it adhere to the gelatine, end so on with 
another, until the (ramie is entirely Oiled with proofs; place the frame i 
biofa «ill take about six hour*. 
All that is now required la, to cut (he gelatine ;ill round the edgeaoffha 
framaj lift it op, it will split away from the shun, and adhere to the 
Mhidi onlv require trimming, and they are finished. The prioe oft 1 
Prenoh gelatine is about 2*. par pound. , No. 1225. 

Process upon Glass. — M. J. R. Le Moyne, in the Comptes 
<, Sept. 15, 1821, describes a practical process, the result of 
experiments, the object of which was to overcome the well-known 
inconveniences of the albumenous plates; "and independently of 
the positive process," says M. Le Moyne, "I have made considerable 
progress in the production of the impressions by the following 
modifications, which, in fact, constitute a new method of preparation." 
See the details in the Philosophical Magazine, No. 13. 

If. Le Moyne adds: — "The proofs obtained by this process con- 
sist of opake, yellowish-white images, lying in a diaphanous medium, 
and presenting, therefore, the positive or negative aspect, according 
as to whether they are placed upon a darker or lighter ground. 

"As negative proofs, they resist changes of temperature better, 
are more transparent (which allows of their being produced by a 
feeble light), and they furnish softer drawings upon paper than those 
prepared by other processes. 

" As positive proofs, and to allow of their being included under 
this head, the side of the albumen has only to be coated with black 
paint ; they present a clearness and delicacy comparable to metallic 
plates, infinitely more beauty of outline, and lastly, a variety of 
shades, of which many are very artistic. 

" In regard to the time requisite for exposure to the light, I may 
add that I have obtained landscapes by the sun in a second (with a 
plano-convex objective consisting of a combination of glasses, furnished 
with a diaphragm the aperture in which was ,m 03), and portraits in 
the shade out of doors in four or five seconds, and in a room in from 
eight to fifteen seconds (with the same object-glass without the dia- 
phragm)." 

Mr. F. A. S. Marshall, of Peterborough, has communicated to 
the Athenceum, No. 12C3, the following very successful results of his 
experiments : — To coat the surface of glass with a perfect iodide of 
silver. 1. Cover the surface of a clean plate of glass with albumen — 
the method is well understood by all good photographers. Let it dry 
spontaneously. 2. Immerse the plate in the following solution: — 
nitrate of silver 80 grains, alcohol 2 ounces, distilled water 2 ounces ; 
mix well, coagulate the albumen, and at the same time charge it with 
nitrate of silver. 3 It must then be thoroughly washed in rain- 
water — this is to get rid of the nitrate of silver which lies on the 
oe of the albumen. 4. Immerse the plate thus well washed in 
a solution of iodide of potassium, 400 grains to the pint. 5. Again 
v ajii the plate thoroughly in rain water, and let it 

The glass plate is now beautifully coated with albumen charged 
with pure iodide of silver ; and it may be made ver by the 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 187 

use of the protosulphate of iron, instead of gallic acid, long since 
recommended by Mr. Hunt, should the protosulphate of iron not 
make the plate sufficiently sensitive, recourse may be had to the 
proto-iodide of iron. 

"Glass Negatives." — Mr. T. A. Malone has communicated to the 
Athencevm his plan for making " Glass Negatives," the novelty of 
which he thus describes : — While the gallic acid is developing its 
reddish-brown image, pour upon the surface a strong solution of 
nitrate of silver : the brown image deepens in intensity until it 
becomes black. Another change commences : the image begins to 
grow lighter; and, by perfectly natural magic, finishes by converting 
the black into white, presenting the curious phenomenon of the 
conversion of a Talbotype negative into, apparently, a Daguerreotype 
positive, but by very opposite agency, no mercury being present; — 
metallic silver (probably) here producing the lights, while in the 
Daguerreotype it produces the shades of the picture. I have said 
probably, because it may be unwise to speculate chemically upon 
appearances which may depend solely on molecular arrangement — 
an intricate subject, to which I hope this communication may prove 
a slight contribution. Professor Wheatstone has suggested to me 
the desirableness of substituting blackened wood or blackened ivory 
for glass plates; we should probably then have the novelty of a 
Daguerreotype on wood free from some of the disadvantages atten- 
dant on polished metal. Mr. Cundall suggests the application of it 
to wood blocks for wood engravers for certain purposes, making the 
drawings by light instead of by hand. 

J'/i'if'igraphs in Natural Colours. — In some experiments made by 
Sir John Herschel, a coloured impression of the prismatic spectrum 
was obtained on paper stained with a vegetable juice. Mr. Robert 
Hunt published some accounts of the indications of colour in their 
natural order obtained on some sensitive photographic surfaces. 
These were, however, exceedingly faint indications; and M. Biot 
and many others regarded the prospect of producing photographs 
in colours as the vision of enthusiasts, — not likely, from the dissi- 
milar action of the solar rays, ever to become a reality. M. Edmond 
Becquerel has published a process by which on plates of metal many 
of the more intense colours have been produced ; but it appears to 
have been reserved for the nephew of the earliest student in photo- 
graphy, Niepce, to make the discovery of producing on the same 
plate by one impression of the solar rays all the colours of the chro- 
matic scale. By this process, called by the discoverer, M. Niepce 
de St. Victor, " Heliochromy " — sun colouring — every colour of the 
original pictures is most faithfully impressed on the prepared silver 
tablet. The preparation of the plates still remains a secret with 
the inventor: and he informs Mr. Malone, to whom these pictures 
were given by him, that it is in many respects different from that 
published by him in his paper "On the Relation which exists between 
tli ('..lour of oertain coloured Flames and the Heliographic Images 



188 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

coloured by Light." Suffice it to say, that the plate when prepared 
presents evidently a dark brown, or nearly a black, surface, — 
and the image is eaten out in colours. We have endeavoured by 
close examination to ascertain something of the laws producing 
this most remarkable effect ; but it is not easy at present to perceive 
the relations between the colorific action of light and the associated 
chemical influence. The female figure has a red silk dress, with 
purple trimming and white lace. The flesh tints, the red, the purple, 
and the white are well preserved in the copy. One of the male figures 
is remarkable for the delicacy of its delineation : — here, blue, red, 
white, and pink are perfectly impressed. The third picture is in- 
jured in some parts: — but it is, from the number of colours which 
it contains, the most remarkable of all. Red, blue, yellow, green, 
and white are distinctly marked, and the intensity of the yellow is 
very striking. Such are the facts as they have been examined by 
us ; and these reults are superior to those which were given to the 
world when photography was first announced. — Athenaeum, No. 1242. 

M. Niepce de St. Victor is still pursuing his investigations on the 
production of colours by photographic means. By connecting a 
silver plate with a voltaic battery, and plunging it into a solution of 
sulphate of copper and chloride of sodium, a chloride of silver mixed 
with some oxide of copper, or finely-divided metallic copper, is 
formed, producing a dark-coloured surface. This is exposed to radia- 
tion, and every ray falling on the plate impresses it with its own 
colour, — it is in fact eaten out in natural colours. The production of 
colours painted by the sunbeam was one of those problems which 
appeared to be almost hopeless ; but although these colours obtained 
by M. Victor are somewhat fugitive, it is now evident that we may 
make it a promising matter of research. In a memoir published by 
M. Victor,* some very curious connexions between the colouring 
matter of flames and the colours produced upon these plates are 
shown. — Literary Gazette, No. 1825. 

Instantaneous Photographic Images. — Mr. Fox Talbot having met 
with a photographic process of great sensibility, was desirous of trying 
whether it were possible to obtain a truly instantaneous representa- 
tion of an object in motion — the experiment was thus constructed. 
A printed paper was fixed upon a circular disc, which was then made 
to revolve upon its axis as rapidly as possible. When it had attained 
its greatest velocity, an electric battery, kindly placed at Mr. Talbot's 
disposal by Mr. Faraday, was discharged in front of the disc, lighting 
it up with a momentary flash. A camera containing a very sensitive 
plate of glass, had been placed in a suitable position, and on opening 
this, after the discharge, an image was found of a portion of the 

* In New York, Daguerreotypes produced by this process have been named 
Hillotypes, from Mr. Hill, of Watkill, having been secretly experimenting in the 
same direction as M. Niepce de St. Victor, who, however, was the first to publish 
the grand discovery, by showing his pictures to the world. The whole process 
to be successful must be nicely managed. The idea about the relation between 
the substances producing coloured flame and colours on the silver plate is a 
fery important addition to the treasury of science. — Scientific American. 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 189 

words printed on the paper, they were perfectly well defined, and 
wholly unaffected by the motion of the disc. Mr. Talbot is not aware 
that this experiment has ever succeeded, or indeed been tried pre- 
viously. — {Proceeding of the Royed Society.) Mr. Talbot has re- 
sumed his researches, and, in the At/wiia ■tint, No. L258 ^December 6, 
1851), thus describes his mode of preparing the plates: — 

1. Take the most liquid portion of the white of an egg, rejecting the rest. 
Mix it with an equal quantity of water, Spread it very evenly upon u plate of 
glees, and dry it at the Are. A strong heat may be used without injuring the 
plate. The film of dried albumen ought to be uniform and Dearly in\ isible. 

1. To an aqueOUt solution of nitrate of silver add a considerable quantity of 
alcohol, so that an ounce ofthe mixture may contain three grain- of the nitrate. 
I bare tried various proportions, from one to six grains, hut perhaps three grains 
answer best. More experiments are here required, since the results are much 
influenced by this part ofthe proj 

3. Dip the plate into this solution, and then let it dry spontaneously. Faint 
prismatic colours will then be seen upon the plate. It is important to remark, 
that the nitrate of silver appears to form a true chemical combination with the 
albumen, rendering it much harder, and insoluble iu liquids which dissolved it 
previously. 

1. Wash with distilled water to remove any superfluous portions of the nitrate 
of silver. Then give the plate a second coating of albumen similar to the ih'st ; 
but in drying it avoid heating it too much, which would cause a commenccnu ut 
of decomposition of the silver. 1 have endeavoured to dispense with this opera- 
tion No. 4, as it is not so easy to ghra a perfectly uniform coating of albumen as 
in No. 1. But the inferiority ofthe results obtained without it induces me for 
the present to consider it M necosary. 

5. To an aqueous solution of prot-iodide of iron add first an equal volume of 
acetic acid, and then ten volumes of alcohol. Allow the mixture to repose two 
or three days. At the end of that time it will have changed colour, and the 
odour of acetic acid, as well as that of alcohol will hare disappeared, and the 
liquid will have acquired a peculiar but agreeable vinous odour. It is in this 
State that I prefer to employ it. 

6. Into the iodide thus prepared and modified the plate is dipped for a few 
seconds. All these operations maybe performed by moderate daylight, avoid- 
ing how ever the direct solar rays. 

7. A solution is made of nitrate of silver, containing about 70 grains to one 
ounce of water. To three parts of this add two of acetic acid. Then if the 
prepared plate is rapidly dipped once or twice into this solution it requires a 
very great degree of sensibility, and it ought then to be placed in the camera 
without much delay. 

8. The plate is withdrawn from the camera, and in order to bring out the 
image it is dipped into a solution of protosulphate of iron, containing one part 
ofthe saturated solution diluted with two or three parts of water. The image 
appears very rapidly. 

9. Having washed the plate with water it is now placed in a solution of hypo- 
sulphite of soda; which in about a minute causes the image to brighten up 
exceedingly, by removing a kind of veil which previously covered it. 

10. The plate is then washed with distilled water, and the process is terminated. 
In order, however, to guard against future accidents, it is well to give the picture 
another coating of albumen or of varnish. 

In this process Mr. Fox Talbot trusts that he has effected a 
harmonious combination of several previously-ascertained and 
valuable facts, — especially of the photographic property of iodide of 
iron, which was discovered by Dr. Woods, of Parsonstown, in Ireland • 
and that of sulphate of iron, for which science is indebted to the 
researches of Mr. Robert Hunt. In the true adjustment of the 
proportions, and in the mode of operation, lies the difficulty of these 



190 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

investigations. The pictures obtained by the above-described process 
are negative by transmitted light and positive by reflected light ; they 
have been named Amphitype, expressive of their double nature, — at 
once positive and negative. These Amphitype pictures differ from 
the nearly related Collodion ones in an important circumstance, viz., 
the great hardness of the film and the firm fixation of the image, 
which is such that in the last washing, No. 10, the image may be 
rubbed strongly with cotton and water without any injury to it ; but 
on the contrary, with much improvement, as this removes any 
particles of dust or other impurity, and gives the whole picture a 
fresh degree of vivacity and lustre. A Daguerreotype picture would 
be destroyed by such rough usage before it was completely fixed and 
finished. 

In examining one of the Amphitype pictures, the first thing that 
strikes the observer is, the much greater visibility of the positive 
image than of the negative one ; which is at least in the proportion 
of ten to one; since it is not rare to obtain plates which are almost 
invisible by transmitted light, and which yet present a brilliant 
picture full of details when seen by reflected light. 

The object of giving to the plates a second coating of albumen, as 
prescribed in No. 4, is chiefly in order to obtain this well-developed 
positive image ; for it is a most extraordinary fact, that a small change 
in the relative proportions of the chemical substances employed 
enables us at pleasure to cause the final image to be either entirely 
negative or almost entirely positive. In performing the experiment 
of the rotating wheel, the latter process must be adopted ; since the 
transmitted or negative image is not strong enough to be visible 
unless the electric flash producing it be an exceedingly bright one. 

Mr. Fox Talbot then describes the third kind of image of a new 
and unexpected nature observed upon the Amphitype plates : in this 
image, which he calls the transmitted positive, the brightest objects 
(viz., those that really are brightest, and which appear so in the 
reflected 'positive) are entirely wanting. In the places where these 
ought to have been seen, the picture appears pierced with holes, 
through which are seen the objects which are behind. Now, if this 
singularity occurred in all the positions in which the plate gives a 
positive image, he would be satisfied with the explanation that the too 
great brightness of the objects had destroyed the photographic effect 
which they had themselves at first produced. But since this effect 
takes place in the transmitted positive but not in the reflected positive, 
Mr. Talbot was at a loss to suggest the reason of it, — and could only 
say that this part of optical science, dependent upon the molecular 
constitution of bodies, is in great need of a most careful experi- 
mental investigation. 

The delicate experiment of the revolving wheel requires for its 
success that the iodide of iron employed should be in a peculiar or 
definite chemical state. This substance presents variations and 
anomalies in its action which greatly influence the result. Those 
photographers, therefore, who may repeat the experiment will do well 



CHEMICAL SCIENCE. 191 

to fix their principal attention upon this point. It is also requisite in 
winter to warm the plates a little before placing them in the camera. 
Mr. Fox Talbot hopes to obtain by this process pictures of objects 
in the most rapid motion, — as dancers, moving machinery, rifle balls 
in their passage, and other things. 

Protection from the Mercurial Vapours. — M. Claudet has stated to 
the British Association that in the process where heat and mercury 
are required to bring out the image, so much vapour of mercury is 
produced as seriously to affect the health of the operators. M. 
Claudet described the means of protection, — by a closet of iron with 
shutters, and a pipe connected with the chimney, to take off the 
vapours, and prevent them coming into the rooms. To lessen the 
chance of undue temperature, he recommends a water-bath, heated 
by a gas-flame : — and thus the operator has the whole under control, 
without heat or vapour in the room. 

Measurement of Light. — M. Claudet recommends the use of a 
polygon to ascertain the intensity of the light at different angles in 
the photographic room. This is of wood, and enables the operator to 
ascertain by the appearance of the different facets when Daguerreo- 
typed the strength of light and shade in different parts of the room, 
— and so to place the sitter in the best positions, and regulate the 
light with shades and screens. — Proc. Brit, Assoc. 

In the discussion that ensued, and referred to the difficulty of 
obtaining good Daguerreotypes in the torrid zone, M. Claudet stated 
that one of the causes of different results in this country depends on 
the state of aqueous vapour in the atmosphere ; and he believes the 
failure of the process in many countries depends on the quantity of 
vapour held in the air. Where this varies, there will be variable 
results ; and the weather at one period, at the beginning or close of 
day, may be found very favourable or quite unfavourable from this 
cause. Good Daguerreotypes have been taken in climates reported 
incapable of allowing successful results; and this he explains by 
reference to the quantities of moisture that the air contained. 

Albumen. — A correspondent of the Athenamm, No. 1220, states 
that the albumen of duck's eggs is more sensitive than that of a hen; 
and that of a goose's egg more sensitive than either. 

New Process. — The following has been communicated to us by Mr. 
C. J. Muller, from Patna in the East Indies, an experienced pho- 
tographer; who informs us that it offers many advantages over 
the Talbotype or the Catalissotype of Dr. Woods— which it somewhat 
resembles, — that it is easy in all its manipulatory details, and certain 
in its results. We give Mr. Muller's own words: — 

" A solution of hydriodate of iron is made in the proportion of 
eight or ten grains of iodide of iron to one ounce of water. This 
solution I prepare in the ordinary way with iodine, iron-turnings and 
water. The ordinary paper employed in photography is dressed on 
one side with a solution of nitrate of lead (15 grains of the salt to an 
ounce of water). When dry, this paper is iodized either by immersing 



192 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

it completely in the solution of the hydriodate of iron, or by floating 
the leaded surface on the solution. It is removed after the lapse of a 
minute or two, and lightly dried with blotting-paper. This paper 
now contains iodide of lead, and protonitrate of iron. While still 
moist, it is rendered sensitive by a solution of nitrate of silver (100 
grains to the ounce) and placed in the camera. After an exposure of 
the duration generally required for Talbot's paper, it maybe removed 
to a dark room. If the image is not already out, it will be found 
speedily to appear in great strength and with beautiful sharpness 
without any further application. The yellow tinge of the lights may 
be removed by a little hyposulphite of soda, though simple washing 
in water seems to be sufficient to fix the picture. The nitrate of lead 
may be omitted ; and plain paper only, treated with the solution of 
the hydriodate of iron and acetic acid may be used with the nitrate 
of silver, which renders it more sensitive. The lead, however, 
imparts a peculiar colorific effect. The red tinge brought about by 
the lead may be changed to a black one by the use of a dilute 
solution of sulphate of iron : — by which, indeed, the latent image may 
be very quickly developed. The papers, however, will not keep after 
being iodized." 

Mr. Muller suggests that as iodide of lead is completely soluble in 
nitrate of silver, it might furnish a valuable photographic fluid, which 
could be applied at any moment when required. No small degree of 
interest attaches to this process — originating in experiments carried 
on in central India. It appears perfectly applicable to the albu- 
menized glass and collodion processes. — Athenceum, No. 1256. 

Positive Photographic Paper. — The following simple process is by 
W. R. Deere Salmon, Woking : — To the albumen of two fresh eggs 
add three drams of saturated solution of chloride of sodium, beat it 
up with a wooden fork into a very thick froth, let it stand for twelve 
hours. Pour the liquor upon a flat dish, and let one surface of the 
paper remain in contact with the liquor for forty or fifty seconds ; 
then lift the paper carefully and with an even motion, and pin up by 
one corner to dry for several hours. When perfectly dry, place it 
between two sheets of writing-paper, and pass four or five times over 
it very quickly an iron, as hot as may be without scorching the 
paper. When cool, put it upon a solution of nitrate of silver (two 
drachms to an ounce of distilled water) spread upon a glass plate, 
and let it rest there four or five minutes; then hang up to dry. 
When the impression is taken, fix in the usual way. By this method, 
the picture becomes varnished ; and a force, sharpness, and bril- 
liancy are produced not easily obtainable by other means. — Philoso- 
phical Magazine, No. 5. 

A Photographic Club has been formed in the metropolis ; and here 
have been exhibited Mr. Fry's charming pictures on glass, obtained by 
a combination of gutta percha and collodion ; a positive copy from a 
glass negative being thus obtainable in five seconds, by gas-light. 



ZOOLOGY. 193 

i&atural f^tstorg. 



ZOOLOGY. 

ZOOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION. 

Professor L. Agassiz, in a paper " On the Principles of Classi- 
fication in Zoology," contributed to Jameson's Journal, No. 100, 
observes : — 

" On reviewing lately the whole animal kingdom, with a view to 
ascertain what is the value of the natural connexion between the 
animals and the media in which they live, with reference to organic 
gradation, I have satisfied myself that aquatic types are decidedly in- 
ferior to the terrestrial ; the marine inferior to the lacustrine and 
fluviatile ones ; that those which live upon the main-land and burrow 
under ground are inferior to those which live above ground ; that 
nocturnal are inferior to diurnal types ; and that, under otherwise 
similar circumstances, representatives of one and the same group 
which differ in these respects, have a higher and lower rank, in ac- 
cordance with their external circumstances ; so much so, that where 
we have no other guides, an inference respecting their natural position 
may be fairly derived from their conditions of life. 

" It will thus be obvious, that as soon as we introduce simul- 
taneously into our classification considerations derived from all these 
different sources; as soon as we allow the embryonic development, 
geological succession, geographical distribution, and relation to the 
natural elements, to assist us in our efforts to assign to all animals a 
natural position in one great system, — we shall be able to sketch a far 
more complete picture of the great diversity which exists in nature, 
than if we allow ourselves to be guided chiefly by anatomical data ; 
and my object at present is mainly to urge the necessity of studies in 
these different directions, with a view of improving our Classification ; 
and to insist upon the necessity of keeping in view, at the same time, 
all these facts, whenever we attempt to form a correct idea of the 
manifested relations which exist throughout the creation, as to all 
their different types, from the earliest period of the existence of ani- 
mals up to the present day "—Proceedings of the American Association 
/or the Advancement of Science, held at Charleston, South Carolina. 

DOCTRINE OF SPECIFIC ORGANIC CENTRES. 

"The actual zoology and botany of the earth's surface exhibit 
several distinct regions, in each of which the indigenous animals and 
plants are, at least as to species, and, to a considerable amount, as 
to genera, different from those of other zoological and botanical 
regions. They are respectively adapted to certain conditions of 
existence, — such as climate, temperature, mutual relations, and, no 
doubt, other circumstances of favourable influence which men have 
not yet discovered, and which never may be discovered in the present 

o 



194 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Htate. These conditions cannot be transferred to other situations. 
The habitation proper to one description of vegetable or animal 
families would be intolerable and speedily fatal to others. Even 
when, as in many parts of the two hemispheres, and on the contrary 
side of the equator, there is apparently a similarity of climate, we 
find not an identity, but only an analogy of animal and vegetable 
species."* 

The opinions expressed in these remarks of a learned and most 
exemplary divine have met with violent opposition from some preju- 
diced minds ; but the more these views are examined the more self- 
evident they become : whence Sir Charles Lyell's observation, that 
naturalists have been led "to adopt, very generally, the doctrine of 
Specific Centres ; or, in other words, to believe that each species, 
whether of plant or animal, originated in a single birthplace."-}* 

De Candolle has suggested twenty-seven of these independent 
regions for plants, and the Rev. J. S. Henslow forty-five. 

For the inferior animals, Dr. Prichard, a distinguished Christian 
physiologist and philosopher, proposes seven regions ; Mr. Swainson, 
five ; Professor Hitchcock, eleven ; Mr. Waterhouse also eleven, but 
with some geographical differences ; and Sir Charles Lyell, Professor 
Agassiz, and many, if not nearly all, of the continental zoologists of 
the present day, are united in sentiment on this principle. How 
gratuitous — how unjust, therefore — it is to attempt to brand as 
infidels those who adopt an opinion irresistibly derived from an 
examination of the truths of Nature, and which has the sanction and 
support of such names as those we have enumerated. 

It is necessary, however, to add, that most of these authorities 
make the human species an exception, and the sole exception to this 
doctrine of independent creations. % — Dr. Morton. 



A NEW MAN. 
We find it attested, in the Correspondence of Berlin, that at the 
end of 1850, a stranger was picked up in a small village of the dis- 
trict of Lebas, near Frankfort-on-the-Oder, whither he had wandered 
no one could tell whence. He spoke German imperfectly, and had 
all the marks of Caucasian origin. On being questioned by the bur- 
gomaster of Frankfort, the stranger said his name was Jophar Vorin, 
and that he came from a country called Laxaria, situated in the por- 
tion of the world called Sakria. He understands, it is affirmed, none 
of the European languages (except, we must suppose, the broken 
German), but reads and writes what he calls the Laxarian and 
Abramian tongues. The latter he declares to be the written language 
of the clerical order in Laxaria, and the other the common language 
of his people. He says that his religion is Christian in form and 

* Rev. J. Pye Smith. The Relation of the Holy Scriptures and Geological 
Science, p. 48. 

t Principles of Geology, p. 608. 

% Prof. Agassiz and Dr. Morton adopt the opinion of Specific Centres in the 
caae of man . 



ZOOLOGY. 195 

doctrine, and that it is called Ispatian. Laxaria he represents to be 
many hundred miles from Europe, and separated by vast oceans from 
it. His purpose in coming to Europe, he alleges, was to seek a long- 
lost brother; but he suffered shipwreck on the voyage — where, he 
does not know — nor can he trace his route on shore on any map or 
globe. He claims for his unknown race a considerable share of 
geographical knowledge. The five great compartments of the earth 
he calls Sakria, Aflar, Aslar, Auslar, and Euplar. The sages of 
Frankfort-on-the-Oder, after much examination of the tale and its 
bearer, believed it. However, Jophar Vorin was despatched to 
Berlin, and there became the subject of much scientific and curious 
gossip in the Prussian capital. 



ABORIGINAL TRIBES OF INDIA. 

Major-general Briggs gives, as the result of his inquiries on the 
several Aboriginal Tribes of India, the following conclusions: — First, 
that they are of a stock essentially differing, in almost every cha- 
racter of a race, from the Caucasian-Hindu. That the whole have a 
common origin ; and though they may have come, as they probably 
did at different times, both from the east and from the north, they 
are all derived from the same great Tartar horde, and undoubtedly 
inhabited India anterior to the invasion of that ancient and venerable 
people the Hindils. The latter, proceeding eastward from Persia, 
extended over the barbarous nations of India, and introduced their 
laws, their civil institutions, and their language, at the same time 
enslaving the aborigines wherever they settled. The exclusive rules 
of caste forbade the intermixture of the two races ; and this circum- 
stance alone suffices to account for the separation having continued 
to exist for so lengthened a period. 

While the Hindu branch of the Caucasian family proceeded east- 
ward, other portions of the same race spread themselves westward, 
and became the progenitors of the present European race. They 
subjected those they subdued to the yoke of slavery, as serfs of the 
soil ; they brought with them the Sanscrit or Indo-Grermanic tongue ; 
and to them Europe owes the introduction of that system of muni- 
cipal administration which is the only true foundation of free insti- 
tutions and constitutional government. — Jameson's Journal, No. 102 
— which see for details. 



THE HUMAN IRIS. 

Mr. Bernard E. Broadhurst, M.R.C.S., in a paper read to the 
Royal Society, " On the Structure and Physiology of the Human Iris," 
commences by stating that the iris is an active fibro-cellular tissue, or 
it may be considered to be a transition tissue from the ordinary fibro- 
cellular to the organic muscular : that it is a tissue differing from 
every other in the body, being possessed of a motor power exceeding 
that of any other tissue, yet differing in construction and appearance 
of fibre from those other tissues, the types of motion. 

He remarks that the microscope shows that the fibres of the iris 
02 



196 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

differ essentially from muscular fibre, whether striped or of organic 
life : they are pale, easily separable and readily torn ; but they 
resemble in no essential particular muscular fibre ; indeed, the effect 
of galvanism on the iris is totally opposed to that produced on mus- 
cular fibre. 

He observes that the nerves that pass to the iris are derived from 
both motor, sensitive and negative nerves ; but voluntary motion is 
not supplied, neither sensation. The motions of the iris are wholly 
independent of the powers usually deemed motor; they are influ- 
enced primarily by the sympathetic system of nerves, through which 
motion is accorded witbout sensation, motion without design. 

In death, the author observes, the iris assumes a median state, the 
pupil being neither dilated nor contracted. In health it is contracted. 
During sleep it is contracted. During the presence of disease, the 
pupil is dilated, and so much dilated beyond its usual state, as the 
tonicity of the vegetative system is removed, as the presence of 
disease operates on the nutritive system to diminish not only the 
power of nutrition, but in a like degree, tension of the visceral system ; 
nutrition and tension being as cause and effect of the healthy opera- 
tion of this basic system of the animal economy. And as it is not 
essential to the motions of the iris, either to their performance or 
that they be understood, that they partake of many of those pecu- 
liarities, the distinguishing features of muscular tissue; and as we find 
that this membrane is obedient to those laws which are applicable to 
each organ under immediate sympathetic influence, and opposed to 
those phenomena which result from spinal and cerebral influence, it 
may be asserted that the contractility of the iris is primo loco, the 
motor power of the sympathetic. For the iris is an irritable mem- 
brane with power alone of involuntary motion and tension, its active 
condition agreeing in these respects with vegetative life in general. 
And as animal death may be said to ensue, when deep sleep takes 
possession of the senses, when those systems under spinal and cerebral 
influence are rendered inactive, to be fitted for renewed exertion on 
waking, — it follows, that those organs which still remain active cannot 
be governed on the same principle, but must necessarily be subject 
to the sole remaining power, through which is accorded involuntary 
motion, motion which never tires, and tension its active condition. 

The fimbriated edge of the ciliary body floats loosely in the posterior 
chamber around the lens, to produce, through the to-and-fro motion 
of each process (their aggregate number representing a circle), a 
current forwards or towards the iris. The force of this current is in a 
ratio to the pupillary opening, being increased as this is contracted, 
to produce, in proportion to its contraction, convexity of the iris. 
On the escape of the aqueous humour from the chambers, these pro- 
cesses fall down to form a serrated border upon the lens. 

INCREASE OF THE NAIL AND THE HAIR IN MAN. 

M. Bertholdt (L'Institut., No. 846) states : — The growth of the 
nails in children is more rapid than in adults, and slowest in the aged. 



ZOOLOGY. 197 

It goes on more promptly in summer than in winter; so that the 
same nail which is renewed in 132 days in winter, requires only 116 
in summer, — a fact depending on the vis vitalis, which seems to be 
proportional to it. The increase in the nails of the right hand is 
quicker than for the left : moreover, it differs for the different fingers; 
consequently, most rapidly for the middle finger, with nearly equal 
rapidity for the two either side of this, slower in the little finger, and 
slowest in the thumb. For the middle finger of the right hand, the 
nail grew 12 millimeters in 106 days ; for the small finger of the left 
hand required 88 days more than for those of the right, and also there 
were produced in this time 3 millimeters less than on the right hand. 

The growth of the hair is well known to be much accelerated by 
frequent cutting. It forms more rapidly in the day than at night, 
and in the hot season than in the cold. But it is difficult to deter- 
mine the precise rates. 

It results from the tables accompanying the memoir of M. Bertholdt, 
that the growth of the hair and nails, as well as that of the epidermis 
pertains to the secretions, and not to the organic structure proper. 
For, (1) the quantity of each formed, corresponds very nearly with 
that of the peripheric secretions, especially with transpiration ; it 
increasing in summer, whilst, on the contrary, the growth and nutri- 
tion of the body are most rapid in winter; so that the weight of a 
man, as was observed by Sanctorius, Liennig, and Reil, is greatest in 
winter ; (2) the growth of the hair being least during the night, 
it accords with the diminution of all the secretions, as that of trans- 
piration, the formation of carbonic acid, the urinary, lacteal, and 
bilious secretions. — Jamesons Journal, No. 99. 



NEW PREVENTIVE OF SEA-SICKNES.S. 

Mr. J. Atkinson has read to the British Association a paper on 
this subject. The author alluded to the method of curing Sea-sickness 
proposed by M. F. Curie, in the Comptes Rendus of the French 
Academy of Sciences, September 30, 1850 : which consists of drawing 
in the breath as the vessel descends, and exhaling as it ascends, on the 
billows, — being based on the supposition that the complaint arises 
from the upward and downward movements of the diaphragm acting 
on the phrenetic nerves in an unusual manner. After remarking on 
various motions — as those produced by swinging and by lading in a 
carriage — by which nausea is often induced, and showing that 
voluntary operations performed by mechanics and labourers involving 
the same kind of movements of the diaphragm, &c, do not cause 
similar unpleasant results, he proceeded to detail the method which 
he had found successful in preventing sea-sickness, as follows: — Let a 
person on ship-board, when the vessel is bounding over the waves, 
seat himself, and take hold of a tumbler nearly filled with water or 
other liquid, and at the same time make an effort to prevent the 
liquid from running over, by keeping the mouth of the glass hori- 
zontal, or nearly so. When doing this, from the motion of the 
vessel, his hand and arm will seem to be drawn into different 



198 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

positions, as if the glass were attracted by a powerful magnet. 
Continuing his efforts to keep the mouth of the glass horizon tal, let 
him allow his hand, arm, and body to go through the various move- 
ments as those observed in sawing, planing, pumping, throwing a 
quoit, &c. — which they will be impelled, without fatigue, almost 
irresistibly to perform ; and he will find that this has the effect of 
preventing the giddiness and nausea that the rolling and tossing of 
the vessel have a tendency to produce in inexperienced voyagers. If 
the person is suffering from sickness at the commencement of his 
experiment, as soon as he grasps the glass of liquid in his hand, and 
suffers his arm to take its course and go through the movements 
alluded to, he feels as if he were performing them of his own free- 
will, — and the nausea abates immediately, and very soon ceases 
entirely, and does not return so long as he suffers his arm and body 
to assume the postures into which they seem to be drawn. Should he, 
however, resist the free course of his hand, he instantly feels a thrill 
of pain of a peculiarly stunning kind shoot through his head, and 
experiences a sense of dizziness and returning nausea. From this 
last circumstance the author of the paper infers it as probable, that 
the stomach is primarily affected through the cerebral mass, rather 
than through a disturbance of the thoracic and abdominal viscera; 
and he is of opinion that the method of preventing sea-sickness just 
described (which he has found by experience to be effectual) depends 
on the curious fact that the involuntary motion communicated to the 
body by the rolling and tossing of the vessel are by the means he 
adopts apparently converted into voluntary motion. — Athenaeum, 
No. 1237. 

EAST INDIA COMPANY'S MUSEUM. 

Several valuable specimens of Natural History have been added to 
the Honourable East India Company's Museum, Leadenhall-street, 
among which are: — Ovis Ammon (male and female), from Thibet ; 
Ovis Nahura (male and female), from Thibet ; Ovis Vignei (male), 
from Thibet ; Ovis, domestic sheep of Thibet ; Capra, goat of Thibet ; 
Capra Ibex, from Kumaon; Equus Kiang, wild ass of Thibet; 
Tetracerus Quadricornis, the four-horned antelope. The whole of 
the above have been presented by Captain R. Strachey, and have 
been beautifully stuffed and arranged, by Mr. Joseph Baker, animal 
preserver to the Company, and to the British Museum. — Jameson's 
Journal, No. 101. 

NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SHETLAND ISLANDS. 

Mr. Adam White has read to the Linnean Society a notice on 
the Natural History of the Shetland Islands, the result of a recent 
visit. He showed from the dredging labours of Mr. MacAndrew, of 
Liverpool, Professor Forbes, and Mr. Barlee, with the researches of 
Professor Fleming, of New College, Edinburgh, and from his own 
experience, how rich the seas were in varied kinds of animal life. 
So little had the insects of the group been studied, that the common 



ZOOLOGY. 199 

humble-bee of Lerwick, Sandlodge, and Unst, when examined by 
Mr. F. Smith, proved to be a species new to the British Fauna 
(Bombus arcticus, Dahll, not Kirby). Mr. White made some remarks 
on the nomenclature of this species, and called the species Smith's 
humble-bee {Bombus Smithianus), as the Rev. W. Kirby had already, 
in 1822, given the name B. arcticus to a species abundant in Mel- 
ville Island and Greenland, which Otho Fabricius had regarded as a 
variety of the Apis alpina, while Dahll's species was so named in 
1832. Mr. W. drew the attention of the members to the import- 
ance of collecting in Shetland, and dredging in the surrounding 
seas. The occurrence of Arenaria Norvegica and Ajuga pyramidalis, 
two Scandinavian plants, and of many animals abundant in the Nor- 
wegian seas, should lead naturalists to investigate in detail the 
productions of the Shetland group. — Literary Gazette, No. 1825. 



FINE URAN-UTAN. 

The Governor of Singapore, Lieut. -Colonel Butterworth, C.B., 
has, for the third time, transmitted a most valuable collection of 
living animals to the Zoological Society. Among them is the finest 
example of the Uran-Utan which has yet been seen in Europe. 
This specimen is about four years old, excessively intelligent, and as 
docile as most children of that age. He was accompanied when he 
left Singapore by a female of the same species, but she unfortunately 
did not survive the voyage to England. Her death is said to have 
had a strong effect upon the spirits of "Darby," who only recovered 
by dint of the utmost devotion on the part of his attendant, and 
the society who assist him, from the loss which he has sustained. 
The uran of Borneo is, when adult, a most formidable being, and 
greatly exceeds the Chimpanzee in bulk and power. Attaining a 
stature of nearly five feet, armed with canine teeth of enormous 
dimensions, and endued with muscles which infinitely transcend the 
most herculean development in man, he has no rival for supremacy 
in the primeval forests of the Archipelago. In infancy and early 
youth, the forehead of the uran is much more indicative of intellect 
than at a later period, when the animal expression gains a terrible 
ascendancy, partly in consequence of the development of the frontal 
sinus, and still more especially of great callosities on the cheek, 
which give a frightful width and flatness to the countenance. To 
what amount of intelligence the tailless apes of the Archipelago 
and Africa are capable of attaining is a problem yet to be determined ; 
but the pensive and thoughtful glance of the animal at the Society's 
Garden cannot fail to suggest many curious speculations to an 
observant mind. 



FELINE HYBRIDS. 

Dr. Ruppell has u decided that all our varieties of the domestic 
cat were derived from one species (Felis maniculata)." 

Fischer and Schinz, who are among the latest authors on synop- 
tical mammalogy, refer the above species (which is yet wild in Nubia, 



200 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

and appears to have been the parent of the common Egyptian house 
cat), and the domestic cat of Europe, to different species; and 
Fischer further calls the F. maniculata "the parent of some varieties 
of the domestic cat."* 

Temminck, after admitting the Egyptian species as the common 
ancestor of our house cats, adds, that "it is altogether probable that 
the crossing of the Egyptian race with the wild one of our forests 
may have given rise to an intermediate breed," but whicb, he adds, 
it would be impossible to prove by demonstrable evidence. Again, 
" It appears to me probable that our house cats are derived from 
Egypt ; but that the original race of Russia, known by the name of 
the Angora Cat (F. Angorensis), has been produced from another 
wild type, yet unknown, and inhabiting the northern regions of Asia." 

Now, it is this Angora cat which resembles so closely the Persian 
and Chartreuse cats, that there is little or no difference between them, 
except that of colour : and, since the interbreed with the common 
cat, we are able to explain much of the variety observable in the cats 
of Europe and Asia. 

Milne Edwards and the learned editors of the new Faune Francaise 
still insist on the identity of the wild cat of Europe and the domestic 
animal ; and should this view of the case ever be substantiated, we 
shall have to admit at least three wild species for the source of our 
familiar variety, — Felis Angorensis, F. catus, and.F. maniculata. But 
the difficulty does not end here : M. Blainville states, that, among 
the numerous series of cat mummies brought from Egypt by the 
French commission, he has identified not only the F. maniculata, but 
also the F. cliaus and the F. bubastis, — all indigenous African species, 
and all reduced, in ancient times, to the domesticated state. And 
I was the more gratified at this discovery, because I had already ob- 
served, in the Chevalier Bunsen's Hieroglyphic Alphabet, three dif- 
ferent cats, each possessing a different symbolic value. I do not pre- 
tend to have any evidence of hybrid crosses between these animals ; 
but these and other facts show us that we may yet have to modify 
some of our zoological impressions from a study of the catacombs and 
monuments of Egypt.* — Dr. Morton. 



MALAYAN TAPIE. 

An interesting specimen of this animal has been added to the me- 
nagerie of the Zoological Society ; — 

The Saladang Gindol Tennu, or Malayan Tapir (Tapirus Malay- 

* Synop. Mamm., p. 207. — "Nondubium hanc speciem esse matrem varie- 
tatuin quartmdam Felis domesticse." 

t The Felis chmis is now spread from Nubia and Egypt to India, thus extend- 
ing itself into Asia, as the F. maniculata has in Europe. "Is it possible," 
observes Schinz, " that the domestic cat has had several origins, because it gives 
rise to several constant varieties?" — Synopsis Mammenalium, p. 453. Nor have 
I a doubt that this will be the established result of further investigation. — 
Morton. 



ZOOLOGY. 201 

anus), much exceeds the American tapir in size, and is peculiarly re- 
markable in respect to colour. It is a native of Sumatra, and some 
of the other islands of the Indian Archipelago, as well as of the 
Malayan peninsula. The Society's specimen was obtained from the 
latter locality, having been captured at the foot of Mount Ophir about 
the end of last summer, in company with another, which is now, as 
we were informed, at sea, and daily expected by the society to arrive 
at their menagerie. 

The Malayan tapir first became known to Sir Stamford Raffles in 
1805, a living specimen having been sent to Sir George Leith when 
Governor of Penang. It was afterwards observed by Major Farquhar, 
in the vicinity of Malacca. A drawing and description of it was 
communicated by him to the Asiatic Society, in 1816; and a living 
subject was afterwards sent to the menagerie at Barrackpore, from 
Bencoolen. Sir Stamford Raffles presented the first specimen which 
reached England to the Zoological Society, on his return from Su- 
matra, but it did not long survive its arrival. 

The present animal is said to be about two years old, and, although 
of large size, is still considerably short of its mature stature, which 
Sir Stamford Raffles describes as equalling the buffalo in body. 

Although differing in many essential characters from the tapir of 
America, the Malayan tapir resembles it in the spotted coloration of 
the young, which, however, disappears at a much earlier period than 
in that species. 

The tapir of the Old "World is particularly interesting to palaeon- 
tologists as the nearest existing form to the palaeotheriuin ; and it 
would almost seem as if the restoration of that extinct form in Pro- 
fessor Owen's admirably illustrated work on British Fossil Mammalia 
had been sketched from the subject now in the Gardens, instead of 
being constructed from the accurate reasoning upon osteological data 
for which he is so celebrated. — Illustrated London News, No. 488, 
wherein the above specimen is engraved. 



MR. GOULD'S COLLECTION OF HUMMING-BIRDS. 

Among the new buildings erected during last spring at the Zoolo- 
gical Gardens, Regent's-park, was a large saloon on the left of the walk 
which leads from the south entrance of the Society's garden towards 
their splendid collection of carnivora. This room was devoted to the 
above collection. 

The idea which Mr. Gould and the society have had in view, is the 
complete illustration of the family of Humming-birds by a series of 
examples of every species, mounted in such a manner as to display 
the peculiarities of their structure, colour, and the changes of plumage 
which characterize the differences of age and sex. The family of 
humming-birds has been well selected for this instructive exhibition, 
both on account of their peculiar beauty and the infinite variety of 
form which occurs among them. 

The species of humming-birds which were known to Linnaeus pro- 
bably did not exceed a dozen. Mr. Gould has succeeded in collecting 



202 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

nearly three hundred ; and his collectors, who are now actively 
searching the unexplored regions of Mexico and the Andes, will, 
without doubt, bring to light many more than have yet become 
known to us. 

The beauty of humming-birds has arrested attention from the ear- 
liest periods when they were brought to the Old World. In the 
catalogue of the Museum of John Tradescant, printed in 1656, we 
find an announcement of " divers humming-birds, three sorts whereof 
are from Virginia." As species after species appeared from the New 
World, naturalists lost themselves in their search for words to give 
expression to their beauty. " Splendet ut Sol" exclaims one. "The 
plumage with which these dazzling birds are clad," says another 
more recently, " defies description with pen or with pencil." In the 
time of Cuvier upwards of a hundred species of these beautiful birds 
had been described ; and the late Mr. George Loddiges, of Hackney, 
possessed one of the finest collections of humming-birds in Europe — 
amounting to nearly two hundred species. This collection was long 
regarded as unrivalled — and was visited by most of the naturalists in 
Europe on account of the rarity of its numerous specimens. 

Marvellous, however, as were thought the numbers and the beauty 
of the Loddigesian collection — it was left for another English natu- 
ralist in London to surpass it— adding upwards of a hundred new 
species of these extraordinary birds to those already described. It 
has long been known to the scientific world that Mr. Gould had 
availed himself of his rare opportunities to procure specimens of hum- 
ming- birds from all parts of America: — and the result is, that he 
has succeeded in assembling not less than 2000 examples, which are 
now to be seen in the Zoological Society's Museum. 

The splendour of plumage, which forms so well-distinguished a 
feature in this gronp, has probably given rise to the popular error 
that humming-birds are found in the east. The truth is, however, 
that humming-birds exist only on the continent of America, in the 
West India islands, and in two islands of the Pacific. The form, 
therefore, is essentially American : one beautiful little species is well 
known in the United States, and passes through the whole extent of 
chat vast territory from its winter quarters in Mexico, until it reaches 
Canada, which is the extreme northern limit on the eastern side of 
America. On the western side, a similar species, but much more 
brilliant in colour — in fact, the most intensely brilliant of the whole 
group — migrates from Mexico, through California, to Nootka Sound, 
and probably even as far as Sitka. From Bolivia, on the other side 
of the equator, another brilliant species migrates to the south, and 
penetrates as far as Terra del Fuego, where the officers of her 
Majesty's ship Beagle found them feeding on insects in the blossoms 
of the fuchsia while snow was lying upon the ground ; for humming- 
birds do not necessarily require a high temperature, and that they 
can support an intense degree of cold is abundantly proved by the 
very altitude to which several species are entirely limited in the 
Andes. On the snow line of Chimborazo, for instance, is found more 



ZOOLOGY. 203 

than one species of very great beauty, at an elevation of from 16,000 
to 18,000 feet above the level of the sea; and the neighbouring 
mountains of Pichincha and Cotopaxi have also species which are 
peculiar to them. 

The temperate regions of the Andes, from 7000 to 10,000 feet of 
altitude, produce the greatest number of these birds, which for the 
most part are distributed throughout that mountain range in locally 
denned limits, which are probably marked out for the various specie8 
by the peculiar features of soil and aspect which control the produc- 
tion of vegetation ; and, consequently, of the insects which derive 
their existence from that source, and form, in their turn, the main 
sustenance of humming-birds. 

It is a popular, but very erroneous belief, that humming-birds feed 
entirely upon honey. Although they occasionally take both honey and 
pollen, the real object of their search in flowers is the insects which 
inhabit them. These insects are frequently so microscopic that they 
escape the naked eye, and this fact gives apparent probability to the 
error above mentioned. To enable the humming-bird to seek suc- 
cessfully for these minute animals in the recesses of a flower, it is 
evident that the variety of form which abounds throughout the 
endless genera of plants would require a somewhat commensurate 
adaptation of the beak of the bird. We find, therefore, among the 
species already known, the most beautiful provision of mechanism for 
the end proposed. Thus, the species docimastes ensifer lives on 
insects which hide in the blossoms of brugmcnma. To enable the bird 
to penetrate to the extremity of the deep tubular flower of these 
plants, he is furnished with a development of beak which is at first 
sight truly astonishing and incomprehensible. 

In the preparing and arranging of his specimens Mr. Gould has 
exhibited the talent of a true artist. Surprising as are the attitudes 
and postures which these Creatures are made to assume in their 
cages, the impression is immediately and entirely conveyed that they 
are perfectly natural. Some are thrusting their long bills into the 
tubular flowers of plants which grow in their native districts, — ■ 
others are, as it were, playing with an insect in the air : — some are 
perched on the branches of ferns and other plants which they delight 
to frequent, — whilst others are sitting in their tiny nests, which look 
as if the first puff of air would blow them quite away. The locality 
of many is determined by their food ; and this, again, gives a 
character to their bills. In districts where the flowers from which 
the birds delight to feed are tubular and deep, the bill is propor- 
tionately elongated ; whilst in other localities, where the flowers are 
shallow, the bill is shortened. Although these birds undoubtedly 
take honey from the flowers around which they hover, they subsist 
principally on insects ; for the pursuit and capture of which they are 
peculiarly adapted. Their flight is excessively rapid ; and effected 
by angular horizontal darts : the birds now and then poising them- 
selves in the air, to gaze at a flower, or to seize on an insect. In 
these movements, the tail materially influences the flight ; and in 



204 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

the instances where this organ is deficient, the birds in their passage 
through the air make a " humming" noise. Hence the common 
name of the whole family. 

The nests of these birds vary as much as do their forms. Some 
are cup-shaped, and seated on horizontal branches ; whilst others are 
elongated, and pendent ; being attached to the extreme end of palm- 
leaves, and often hanging over water. Under all circumstances, the 
eggs are two ; and white in colour ; and when hatched, they are 
generally male and female. 

We have thus generally alluded to some of the points in the 
history of these birds which Mr. Gould's collection illustrates. We 
are glad further to be able to announce, that these specimens have 
been got together for the purpose of enabling their possessor to give 
to the world a monograph on this family, on the same scale and in 
the same style as his preceding works ; which have made the name of 
Gould illustrious wherever the science of Ornithology is studied. — 
Abridged from the Illustrated London News, and Athenaeum. 

THE MOHO ; OR, NOTORNIS MANTELLI. 

In the Year-book of Facts, 1851, p. 239, we recorded the discovery 
of a living specimen of the Notornis, in the Middle Island of New 
Zealand, by Mr. Walter Mantell; and in a lecture delivered at 
the Royal Institution, in May, 1850, Dr. Mantell alluded to the 
discovery of the bones of other supposed extinct species and genera 
of birds associated with those of the Moa, or Dinornis. Of these, 
the most remarkable were the skulls and other parts of the skeleton 
of a very large and peculiar form of the rail family (Eallidce), which 
are described by Professor Owen in the Zoological Transactions,. 
under the name of Notornis (southern bird) Mantelli. According to 
the traditions of the Maoris, or natives of New Zealand, this bird 
formerly existed contemporaneously with the moa, a large bird 
resembling the swamp-hen, or water-rail, which was a favourite 
article of food with their remote ancestors, but had gradually disap- 
peared, and was believed to have been long since exterminated by 
the wild dogs and cats, which are now so formidable a pest to the 
colonists. This bird was called the Moho, or Takahe, and described 
as of a black colour, with red beak and legs, and destitute of wings. 
No traces of the traditionary moho had, however, been seen either 
by the natives or Europeans since the arrival of the English colonists ; 
and the occurrence of the fossil bones of a bird apparently answering 
the general description of the gigantic rail, with those of the dinornis, 
in deposits of great antiquity, rendered it highly probable that the 
moho, like the dodo of the Mauritius, had become extinct within the 
last few centuries. Fortunately, this proves not to be the case, for 
a living specimen has been captured. 

This bird was obtained by Mr. Walter Mantell, Jan. 4th, of some 
men engaged in the pursuit of seals among the coves of Dusky Bay, 
which lies on the south-western extremity of the Middle Island. It 
appears that these sealers had observed the foot -prints of a large 



ZOOLOGY. 205 

and strange bird on the snow, with which the ground was thickly- 
covered; pursuing the trail, they at length caught sight of the object 
of their search, which fled with great rapidity, for a long while dis- 
tressing their dogs, but at length was driven up a gully behind 
Resolution Island, and captured alive. They kept it on board the 
schooner a few days, and then killed and skinned it, roasting and 
eating the body, which was declared to be very delicious. The skin 
was procured by Mr. Walter Mantell, while in good condition ; and 
thus has been preserved for science — the, perhaps, only remaining 
individual of this remarkable type of the Ealllche. The identity of 
this recent specimen with the fossil notornis was immediatly recog- 
nised by Mr. Walter Mantell, and has been confirmed by Mr. Gould 
and Professor Owen. Its powerful and short mandibles, abbreviated 
wings, and strong metatarsals and feet perfectly agree with the indi- 
cations afforded by the fossil skull, sternum, and other bones that 
are now preserved in the British Museum. 

The notornis is about two feet high, the beaks are relatively 
very short and strong ; the wings are short and rounded, and their 
plumage is feeble, constituting but very imperfect organs of flight ; 
the legs and feet are more adapted for the land than those of the 
ordinary rails. The plumage is of a rich purple colour on the neck, 
breast, and abdomen ; on the back and wings it is dashed with green 
and gold ; the tail is scanty and white beneath ; the beak and legs 
were of a bright scarlet when the bird was alive. The discrepancy 
between the traditional account of the moho and the recent bird 
shows that a considerable time must have elapsed since a living 
example was seen by the natives. 

This discovery is of the highest interest both to the ornithologist 
and palaeontologist ; for this remarkable form of Rallidce was pre- 
viously only known by its fossil remains, and would, probably, like the 
dodo, have soon become all but traditional. It seems probable that 
living examples of some of the other supposed extinct birds may 
yet be met with in the imperfectly explored districts of New Zealand ; 
but we fear there is no reason to hope that we shall ever see a 
recent representative of the noble ostrich-like moas, some twelve or 
fourteen feet high, whose fossil remains have excited so much asto- 
nishment even in the scientific world. Had, however, Mr. Walter 
Mantell's arduous researches been rewarded by the capture of a live 
moa, in time for the World's Exhibition of 1851, it would, indeed, 
have been a rarissima avn. We may add that the notornis has been 
most successfully stuffed and mounted by Mr. Bartlett, and may 
now be seen at Dr. Mantell's residence, in Chester-square ; and this 
specimen is figured in the Illustrated London News for January 4, 
1851. 



THE APTERTX. 

Among the recent discoveries in Zoology, there is scarcely a more 
astonishing fact than the revelation of the ancient bird life in New 
Zealand, which has been made and recorded in the Transactions of 



206 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

the Zoological Society, and in other works to which Professor Owen 
and Dr. Man tell have contributed the result of their correspondence 
with that country. The researches of the first-named eminent phy- 
siologist, who, from the view of a single bone, originally conjectured 
the existence of those gigantic species which he has since described 
with such felicity, have established the truth that at least ten species 
of wingless birds now extinct, or nearly extinct, formerly inhabited 
the islands of New Zealand in considerable numbers ; that they dif- 
fered essentially from any of the five ostrich-like birds which are 
now found in America, Africa, Australia, or the Indian Archipelago ; 
that they not only existed within the era of man's appearance on 
those islands, but that their destruction was of comparatively recent 
date, if it in truth really is the fact that the whole of the moas have 
been exterminated and inhabit the earth no longer. 

Allied to, and contemporary with, the moas, were the birds be- 
longing to the genus Apteryx, of which at least three are still found 
in New Zealand. These birds, generally known under the native 
name of Kiwi, are entirely nocturnal in their habits, and probably 
are indebted to that circumstance for the existence which they still 
maintain in spite of all the dangers which surround it. 

For a long time after its first discovery and its early description by 
Dr. Shaw, the Apteryx Australia remained a very rare bird in mu- 
seums ; so much so, that, at one time, nothing but the production of 
the original specimen (which long existed in the museum at Knowsley) 
would convince some of the foreign savans that such an anomalous 
form actually existed. 

As discoveries increased, it became more and more important to 
scientific men to obtain such illustration of the habits of the appa- 
rently extinct birds of New Zealand as comparison with the Kiwi 
could afford ; and various attempts have accordingly been made to 
bring living specimens to Europe. It was reserved, however, for 
Captain Erskine, Pv.N., of H.M.S. Havannah, to succeed in this 
attempt; and he has now, perhaps, rendered one of the most inter- 
esting services to physiology which can be imagined, by bringing 
the first living specimen of this rare and most singular bird, this link, 
as it were, between the present and the dim past of a great Polyne- 
sian creation of which New Zealand was the last abiding-place. This 
specimen has been lodged in the Gardens of the Zoological Society ; 
and has been engraved in the Illustrated London News, No. 538. 

The habits of the Apteryx are, as we have said, strictly nocturnal. 
During the day the bird stands or sits, sleeping and motionless; as twi- 
light comes on his energies revive, and during the whole night, appa- 
rently, he searches actively for food, and travels rapidly from place 
to place in a singular shambling but not unrapid gait. When by 
chance the bird is compelled to change his attitude from the perpen- 
dicular to an oblique direction, he appears to be constrained to sup- 
port himself by the beak in addition to his feet. This organ, which 
is not less singularly constituted than the other parts of his structure, 
is peculiarly adapted to serve this purpose, by its hard and bony tex- 



ZOOLOGY. 207 

ture towards the point. Imperfect vision during day is compen- 
sated for by an extraordinary development of the olfactory nerves, 
and the apparently anomalous position of the nostrils, which are 
perforated at the very end of the beak. As the apteryx plunges 
deeply into the loose earth in search of food, its powers of perception 
must be vastly increased by this disposition of so important an organ ; 
and it is not difficult to understand how effectively he must clear 
every place which the bird inhabits. Its most favourite food since 
its arrival in this country is earthworms, of which it devours a con- 
siderable number nightly. A writer in the Literary Gazette has com- 
pared the first aspect of this bird to that of a quadruped. The texture 
of the feathers, the colour, and the crouching attitude in which it 
habitually reposes, certainly remind one of a hedgehog. Its means 
of defence appear to be its sharp claws, which it uses with freedom 
and activity, kicking in the fashion of a cassowary. 

At the late Meeting of the British Association, there were exhi- 
bited two species of apteryx, from the Ipswich museum. One was 
the Apteryx Australis, which had been long known to naturalists, — 
the other was a new species of which only two specimens at present 
existed in Great Britain, and had been dedicated to Prof. Owen 
under the name of A. Oweni. These birds were of interest on 
account of their relation to other forms of birds which are now 
extinct. 



THE ORNITHORHYNCUS. 

In the nave of the Great Exhibition building were shown two speci- 
mens of that extraordinary animal, the Ornithorhyncus, or duck- 
billed platypus. It is a native of Australia, and bears some resem- 
blance to the beaver and the otter, with a fur similar to those 
creatures. The head is rather flat, and the mouth furnished with a 
bill like that of the duck; it is, notwithstanding this marvellous 
incongruity, a very pretty -looking animal. When first sent to this 
country, it was received by zoologists with caution amounting to 
suspicion ; nor was it till one or two more specimens arrived from 
Governor Hunter (we believe, and addressed to Sir Joseph Banks), 
that naturalists were ready to allow that the beak was naturally 
attached to the body. Sir Henry Halford also devoted much time to 
the investigation of this subject, and succeeded in establishing the 
fact of its reality ; a satisfactory instance of the progress and accuracy 
of scientific application. — Times. 



NEST-BUILDING FISHES. 

Professor Agassiz, after referring to the general disbelief which 
stories of Fishes taking care of their young have received, states that 
lately, while engaged in collecting insects along the shores of Lake 
Sebago, in Maine, he was led to observe the actions of a couple of cat 
fish, which at his approach left the shore suddenly, and returned to 
the deeper water. Examining the place which the fishes had left, he 
discovered a nest, with a number of little tadpoles, which he at first 



208 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

took for the tadpoles of frogs. In a few moments, the two fishes 
returned slowly and cautiously, looking anxiously towards the nest, 
to see if it had been disturbed. They approached within six or eight 
feet of where Professor Agassiz stood. They were evidently not in 
search of food, and he became convinced that they were seeking the 
protection of their young. Large stones thrown repeatedly into the 
middle of the nest, after the fishes had returned to it, only frightened 
them away for a brief period ; and they invariably returned to the 
spot within ten or fifteen minutes. This was repeated for the fourth 
and fifth time with the same result. The nest was in a depression 
among the water-plants. — Proceedings of the Annerican Association 
at New Haven. 



NEW MARINE ANIMALS AMONG THE HEBRIDES. 

Professor E. Forbes and J. Goodsir have described certain ani- 
mals either wholly new, or new to Britain, which were taken during 
a yachting cruise with Mr. Macandrew, of Liverpool, among the 
Hebrides, in August, 1850. During this voyage, which lasted three 
weeks, a series of observations were conducted by means of the dredge 
and towing net. Not a single new testaceous mollusc was procured ; 
but several remarkable Ascidians and Radiata were discovered, some 
of them so curious in themselves, and so important in their zoological 
bearings, that the authors of this paper thought it desirable to lay an 
account of them before the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

The most remarkable of these is the longest compound Ascidian yet 
discovered in the Atlantic. Its nearest described ally is the genus 
Diazona of Savigny, between which animal and Clavellina it forms 
a link. The authors of this paper propose to designate this animal 
Syntethys Hebridia, having found it necessary to establish a genus for 
its reception. The authors have also dredged up the Holothuria 
intestinalis of Ascanius and Rathke, which is the second species of 
Holothuria proper discovered in the British seas ; the fir3t having 
been discovered by Mr. Peach under the name of "Niggei-," given to 
it by the Cornish fishermen. 

A new species of the curious genus Sarcodictyon, distinguished by 
the polype cells being grouped in assemblages of from three to five, 
was described under the designation of S. agglomeratum. 

The Arachnactis albida of Sars was found in the Minch. Portions 
of an animal found by Professor Balfour in the same locality in 1841, 
have now been recognised as belonging to this curious Actinea. 

The other animals described in this communication are, a species 
of naked-eyed Medusa, for the reception of which the authors found 
it necessary to establish a new genus, Plancia {Plancia gracilis). 
Seven new species of Medusae, referable to the genera Oceanea, Slab- 
beria, Hippocrene, and Thaumantias, were also described. — Pro- 
ceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, February, 1851. 

ON THE MOLLUSCOUS FAUNA OF THE AZORES AND ST. HELENA. 
BY PROF. E. FORBES. 

This valuable paper has been read by the author to the British As- 



ZOOLOGY. 209 

sociation. Great interest attaches to the malacology of the islands of 
the Atlantic on account of its hearing on inquiries into the ancient 
conformation of land in that region and the causes of the distribution 
of organized beings. We have so few data respecting the invertebrates 
of the Azores and St. Helena, that every fragment of fresh information 
becomes of consequence. The author has lately had opportunities of 
examining a small collection of land shells gathered in the Azores by 
Mr. Macgillivray, the indefatigable naturalist who accompanied the 
surveying voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake; and also a small parcel of 
the littoral and sublittoral molluscs collected at St. Michael's and sent to 
Mr. M 'Andrew. From St. Helena he has recently received a quan- 
tity of the shells cast on the shore; and a few recent and subfossil 
land shells, collected by Mr. Alexander, a student of King's College. 
Out of eight species of land shells from Fayal, in the Azores, one is a 
new form of Bulimus, allied to a Maderian species, — two are Helix 
paupercula and Pupa anconostroma, both Madeirese, — one is the Helix 
barbula of Charpentier, an Asturian and Gallician species, — two, Helix 
piscina and Bulimus rcntricosus, are widely-distributed South and 
West European forms, — two, Helix aspcrsa and H. cellaria, are cos- 
mopolites, diffused probably owing to transportation by men. Of 
the marine shells from St. Michael's, Purpura Loimastoma, Ha- 
liolis tubcrulius. Metmfulva,Noch us langreri, and Triton (variegatum), 
are characteristic Lusitanian species, ranging also through the Medi- 
terranean. A Littorina is not European; it is the Littorina striata of 
Capt. King, a species remarkable for being common to the Azores, 
Madeira, the Cape de Verds, and the Guinea Coast. A starfish sent 
with the shells is the common Urasto spinosa of Europe. The shells 
brought by Mr. Alexander from St. Helena are equally interesting. 
To the six land shells already known he adds three, a Succinnea, a 
Bulimus, and a Helix ; the last representing, but very distinct from, 
the Helix Guerincaria of Madeira. Our knowledge of the marine 
shells of Madeira has hitherto been entirely due to Mr. Cuming; 
who, during a brief visit to that island, dredged for a long time in 
forty fathoms water on a soft muddy bottom. The shells he ob- 
tained (and of which he has most liberally communicated his lists) 
belonged to the genera Cardium, Cytherea, Metra, Clavatula, Pleu- 
rotoma, Nassa, Scalarda, Eutoma, Pyramidella, Trochus, Delphinula, 
Turritella, Natica, Bulla, and Hyalinda. The species proved, so far 
as they have been examined, to be, as they seemed to be to Mr. 
Cuming at the time he captured them, all peculiar. 

Mr. Alexander adds specimens of Lucina Donax ( ? ) Hipponyx (?) 
Acmsea, Siphonaria, Fissurella, Gena, Marginella, Cypraea, Conis, 
Cassis, Columbella, Cerathum, Forsarus, and Rissoa. In the British 
Museum there is an unnamed Littorina from St. Helena closely re- 
presenting, but distinct from, the Littorina striata above alluded to. 
Several of the above-named shells are too young for determination ; 
others are decidedly new. The known species not peculiar are, Cassis 
testiculus, Cyprcea lurida, spurica, and moneta, Conus Guineacus, Var. 
Icrotta, Marginella millarea, and Natica caurena. The Forsarus is 
P 



210 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

not the Senegal shell, but the F. Cumingii. Several of the preceding 
are cominon'to the West Indies and Mediterranean. — The author infers 
from these facts that the coast-line of the ancient land of which the 
Atlantic islands north of the line are fragments had a bend indicated 
by the distribution of the Littorina striata; and that the ancient con- 
nexion of the Azores with the Lusitanian land on the one hand and 
Madeirese on the other, as previously maintained by him, is supported 
strongly by these additional data. On the other hand, the facts con- 
cerning St. Helena indicate, as the indigenous vegetation of that island 
had previously done, that it had been insulated from a very ancient 
period and had never been connected with the continent. At the 
same time, the marine molluscs would seem to point to the sub- 
mergence of a tract of land, probably linking Africa with South 
America, before the elevation of St. Helena. Along the sea-coast of 
such a tract of land, the creatures common to the West Indian and 
Senegal seas might have been diffused. 

Professor Phillips admitted the justice of Professor Forbes's conclu- 
sions, though some of them were opposed to received geological 
opinions. It must be admitted that if the same forms of plants and 
animals appeared on opposite coasts, it was fair to infer that those 
coasts were at one time united. If from such facts we might infer 
that there was once a connexion between the Highlands of Scotland 
and the mountains of Scandinavia, between the centre of England 
and Germany, between Ireland and Spain ; so we might infer from 
the same facts a connexion between England and America. When 
we found the same animals in rocks over a wide district — as, for 
instance, in the Silurians of England, Asia, and America — we con- 
cluded there had been a connexion between these seas, which had pro- 
duced these rocks. Why should not the same argument hold good 
with regard to the distribution of animals and plants of the present 
day ? Although the area appeared large for which this distribution 
was demanded, the areas of the distribution of certain forms of 
animals — as of fishes — was larger at the present day than any 
demanded for the distribution of the older strata of the earth. Pro- 
fessor E. Forbes stated that there were no areas of distribution 
larger in the older rocks than they were at the present day, and 
illustrated this statement by reference to the distribution ofSaxicava 
rugosa and other animals. Mr. C. J. F. Bunbury said that the 
indigenous Flora of St. Helena was very peculiar, and not like any 
other : — so, also, were the Mollusca. The Flora of the Azores resem- 
bled that of the south of Europe, and not that of America. There 
was undoubtedly at one time a connexion between Africa and South 
America : but proofs of this connexion must not be looked for in the 

E resent Flora and Fauna, — as probably that connexion was dissolved 
efore the present era. — Athenceum, No. 1237. 



STRUCTURE OF THE ACALEPH.E. 

Mr. T. H. Huxley, in a communication to the British Associa- 
tion, gives some account of a portion of the investigations made by 



ZOOLOGY. 211 

the author, during the circumnavigatory voyage of H. M. S. Rattle- 
snake, under the command of the late Captain Owen Stanley. The 
author describes the structure of the Phyrophoridae and Diphydae, 
illustrating the peculiarities of their organization by drawings of 
several of the species. The Diphydae are shown to be chains of 
polypes, provided with peculiar natatorial organs; the Phyropho- 
ridae to be similar chains, sometimes provided with similar natatorial 
organs, but always possessing peculiar "float," formed by a dilata- 
tion of the polype-stem, containing a vesicle of air. The zoological 
relations of these two families are next inquired into. An attempt 
is made to show that, together with the Beroidae, Medusidae, Hydroiae 
and Authozoic Polypes, they form a well defined class of the animal 
kingdom, for which the author proposes the name of the Nema- 
tophora, from the very general diffusion of the peculiar "thread- 
cell" throughout the class. The Nematophora being once separated, 
the author endeavours to show that the rest of the Radiata are on 
the one side related to the Moll u sea, on another to the Annulosa, 
and on the third to the lowest plants ; so that the class Radiata, as 
Buch, must be broken up. 

Professor E. Forbes said that Mr. Huxley's researches had thrown 
great light on the structure and affinities of the group of Radiate 
animals. He was not prepared to adopt all Mr. Huxley's views, — 
but they were entitled, he felt assured, to the most mature consider- 
ation of naturalists. — Athenceum, No. 1237. 



VOLVOX GLOBATOR. 

Dr. Carpenter has detailed to the Microscopical Society the re- 
sults of some observations made by Mr. Williamson, of Manchester, 
on the Volvox Globator. He stated that, startling as the assertion 
might at first sight appear, Mr. Williamson had come to the con- 
clusion that the Volvox belongs not to the animal, but to the vege- 
table kingdom ; and that he himself having gone over the evidence, 
was inclined to concur in this view. The increase of the cells (from 
the supposed ova) being carried on in a manner precisely analogous 
to that of undeniable algae, while many of the so-called polygastric 
animalcules of Ehrenberg having been proved zoospores of some of 
the confervae, renders the supposition probable. It appears from Mr. 
Williamson's observations, that between the outer integument and 
the primordial cell-wall of each cell, a hyaline substance is secreted, 
causing the outer integument to expand ; and as the primordial cell- 
wall is attached to it at various points, it causes the internal colour- 
ing matter, or endochrome, to assume a stellate form, the points of 
one cell being in contact with those of the neighbouring cell : — these 
points forming at a future period the lines of communication between 
the green spots so often noticed on the adult volvox. Dr. Carpenter 
argued that the evident automatic action of the vibratile cilia was 
also in favour of the vegetable theory ; and cited a case in which a 
cistern that had been recently cleared out, and partially filled by the 
rain only, had become suddenly and rapidly covered with a bright 

P2 



212 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

green scum, which, on examination, proved to be the Cryptomonas 
of Ehrenberg. The water could have contained nothing in solution, 
with the exception of probably a little carbon; and Dr. Carpenter 
thought that the distinction between the animal and vegetable king- 
doms could be better defined by having regard to the nutriment than 
by any other mode, — animals requiring organized matter for food, 
while vegetables flourish on inorganic matter, or else organic matter 
in a state of decomposition. The Cryptomonadina must, . therefore, be 
considered as undoubtedly vegetable ; and these were followed by an 
abundant production of llotifera, the way having been prepared for 
the animals by the previous vegetable development. 

NEW FORM OF SPONGE-LIKE ANIMAL. 

Mr. T. H. Huxley has described to the British Association a ge- 
latinous substance found in almost all seas, in masses varying in size 
from the size of a pea to that of a walnut. This mass is an animal of 
extreme simplicity, analogous to the Pulmellae in the vegetable king- 
dom, and consists of a number of simple cells, united by a gelatinous 
connecting matter, containing siliceous spiculse. The author pointed 
out the importance of this creature as connecting the Sponges Gre- 
garinidse and Polythalamata. 

BORING MOLLUSCA. 

The following papers have been read to the British Association : — 
" On the Structure of the Branchiae and Mechanism of Breathing in 
the Pholades and other Lamellibranchiate Mollusca," by Dr. T. Wil- 
liams. The researches of the author, which were illustrated by 
numerous diagrams, had led him to the following conclusions : — 1st. 
That the blood in all Lamellibranchiate mollusca is richly corpuscu- 
lated. 2nd. That the branchiae in all species are composed of straight 
parallel vessels returning upon themselves. 3rd. That the heart is 
systematic. 4th. That the parallel vessels of the gills are provided 
with vibritile cilia disposed in linear series on either side of the 
branchial vessel, causing currents which set in the same direction as 
the blood currents. 5th. That in Pholas the syphons are richly lined 
with vibritile cilia as well as the branchial plates. 6th. That the 
branchial syphon acts in drawing in water into the chamber of the 
mantle by the dilating of the valves of the shell. 7th. That a part 
of the water which is thus drawn into the branchial chamber is swal- 
lowed, and eventually rejected by the foecal orifice; and that the rest 
is expelled by the orifice in the mantle, and in part by the branchial 
orifice. 8th. That this expiratory fluid is surcharged with carbonic 
acid and fluid secretions furnished by the interior of the mantle. 
9th. That this current, escaping with force against the walls of the cell 
in which the animal lives, acts as a solvent upon the particles disin- 
tegrated by the action of the valves : — that the boring of the pho- 
lades can, therefore, only be explained on the principle which in- 
volves a chemical as well as a mechanical agency. 

Prof. Phillips alluded to the various theories which had been giveu 



ZOOLOGY. 213 

of the mode in which the species of mollusca bored into the rocks in 
which they lived. He believed that neither an exclusively chemical 
nor an exclusively mechanical theory would account for the pheno- 
menon, and he was inclined to adopt the view which had been so 
ably maintained by the author of this paper. 

Mr. Robertson, "On the Boring Operations of Pholas dactyl us" 
clearly traced a portion of the effect produced by the animal on the 
rock in which it lived to a rotatory action of the shell. This move- 
ment never moved the animal more than half round in its hole, and 
sometimes not so much as this. 

Prof. E. Forbes stated that there were three ways of explaining 
the effect of boring by Mollusca: — 1st, by the valves; 2nd, by the 
secretions; 3rd, by siliceous particles studding the tissues. Dr. 
Williams's theory adopted the two former modes of operation, with 
which he was disposed to agree ; but Mr. A. Hancock still maintained 
that the latter was the mode in which the boring was effected. 

"On the Mechanical Operations of the Boring and Tubicolous 
Annelides," by Dr. T. Williams. 

Mr. John Robertson has communicated from Brighton, to 
Jameson's Journal, No. 101, the results of his opportunities of study- 
ing the Pholas Dactylus, during six months, to discover how this 
mollusc makes its hole or crypt in the chalk : by a chemical solvent ? by 
absorption ? by ciliary currents ? or by rotatory motions ? Between 
twenty and thirty of these creatures were at work in lumps of chalk 
in sea- water, in a finger-glass, and open for three months ; and by 
watching their operations, Mr. Robertson became convinced that the 
Pholas Dactylus makes its hole by grating the chalk with its rasp- 
like valves, licking it up when pulverized with its foot, forcing it up 
through its principal or branchial syphon, and squirting it out in 
oblong nodules. The crypt protects the Pholas from conferva', which, 
when they get at it, grow not merely outside, but even within the 
lips of the valves, preventing the action of the syphons. In the foot 
there is a gelatinous spring or style, which even when taken out has 
great elasticity, and which seems the mainspring of the motions of the 
Pholas Dactylus. 



EXUVIATIONS IN CRUSTACEA. 

Sir John Graham Dal yell, in a paper on "Examples of Exuvia- 
tions, or the Change of the Integuments of Animals in the Crusta- 
ceous Tribes," adduces a number of facts, which, combined with 
many other observations, lead to these conclusions: — 

1. The crustaceous tribes are invested by a rigid inexpansible shell. 

2. As the existing shell cannot dilate to allow the increment of the 
animal, it is wholly cast off by exuviation, to make way for another, 
which is always of larger dimensions. 

3. This exuviation, commencing at very early age, is repeated at 
irregular intervals during the progress of increment, each successive 
shell with its animal exceeding the size of its precursor. 



214 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

4. The larger or new shell and animal are generated or regenerated 
within the existing shell, which opens for its exit when mature. 

5. No enlargement of the new subject is sensible after production. 

6. "Whatever the mutilation may be which the existing shell and 
animal have undergone, the new subject is always produced entire 
and perfect by exuviation. 

7. Prolific females are exempt from exuviation, that their spawn, 
adhering externally, may not be exposed to injury. 

8. The young of many crustaceans, which bear no resemblance to 
the parent, attain symmetry and perfection through the medium of 
successive metamorphoses. — Selected from Jameson's Journal, No. 102. 



SOUTH AMERICAN INSECTS. 

Mr. Adam White has exhibited to the Linnean Society, on behalf 
of Mr. Henry W. Bates, a selection from a fine series of insects lately 
collected by him at Ega and other spots on the river Amazon. Mr. 
White also exhibited a selection of fine Hymenopterous insects from 
Mr. Frederick Smith's collection, also procured by Mr. Bates at Ega, 
Par&, and other places in Brazil. He particularly called attention to 
some fine species of Longicorn beetles and pale nocturnal Megacephalse, 
and, among the Lepidoptera, pointed out a series of species of Cata- 
gramma; among them he indicated a very gorgeously decorated 
butterfly, Callithea Batesii, named after its discoverer. He made 
some observations on Mr. Bates's merits as a collector, and com- 
pared him with some of the celebrated naturalist voyagers, pupils of 
Linnaeus ; and showed that he deserved and needed every encourage- 
ment, especially in entering upon a comparatively new zoological field, 
the district watered by the Rio Tapajos, which river extends from 13 
to 1500 miles into the interior. 'He mentioned that Mr. Bates had 
forwarded to his agent in London at least 1000 species of butterflies, 
several of them new, and figured in the Diurnal Lepidoptera of Dou- 
bleday, Hewitson, and Westwood. Mr. Bates had been in Brazil 
since 1848, and was as enthusiastically devoted to natural history as 
ever, collecting chiefly insects, birds, fishes, reptiles, and shells. — 
Literary Gazette, No. 1825. 



ARCTIC INSECTS. 

Mr. Adam White has exhibited to the Entomological Society a 
Spider from the Arctic regions, taken 14th August, 1850, in lat. 76°, 
long. 69°, by Mr. Ede, R.N. It was closely allied to Lycosa saccata, 
O. Fab., but not identical, and he proposed to call it L. Baffini. He 
also exhibited Tipula arctica, Curtis, T. glomerata, Walker, and a 
species of Cheironomus (C. borealis, Curtis), both from the same 
locality ; and remarked that the eggs of these fragile insects, being 
laid upon the ground, exposed for many months to the most intense 
cold, and still preserving their vitality, was a most surprising instance 
of the power of animal life. He stated his belief that the number of 
insects in the Polar regions was much greater than is generally 



ZOOLOGY. 215 

supposed, this opinion being founded on the observation of recent 
visitors to those inhospitable parts. Mr. Curtis remarked that Sir 
James Ross had frozen and thawed the same caterpillar several times 
without affecting its vitality. — Literary Gazette, No. 1823. 

NEW PTERODACTTLE, 

Prof. Owen has read to the Zoological Society a paper "on a 
new Species of Pterodactyle from the chalk (Pterodactylus compres- 
sirostris, Owen), with some remarks on the Nomenclature of the 
previously described species." The author apologized for bringing a 
species of extinct animal before the Zoological Society; but as its 
distinctive characters were best shown by comparison with those of 
the species described by Mr. Bowerbank at the previous meeting of 
the Society, he thought it desirable that both descriptions should 
appear in the same work. After some general remarks on the 
Pterodactyles, and a reference to the characters of the gigantic 
species described by Mr. Bowerbank as the Pterodactylus Cuvieri, 
Prof. Owen proceeded to describe the portions of the fossil skull on 
which the new species was founded. They consisted of two portions 
of the upper jaw, including a part of the external nostril, the palate 
and the alveoli of the teeth. The entire head, restored according to 
the proportions of those parts, must have measured from fourteen to 
sixteen inches in length. It differed from the still larger P. Cuvieri 
in the straight outline of the upper jaw, and its greater degree of 
lateral compression, from which the specific name was derived ; also, 
by its relatively smaller teeth, which are placed more widely apart in 
the jaw. The bony palate is extremely narrow, and presents a 
median groove between two longitudinal convex ridges. The sides 
of the jaw, as they rise from the alveolar border, incline a little 
outwards before they converge to meet at the upper border; which 
gradually widens as the jaw extends backwards ; but in a great part 
of its extent is a mere ridge. The bony walls of both portions of jaw 
present the characteristic compactness and extreme thinness of the 
Pterodactyle's skull. So far as the present evidence of three well- 
marked species of Pterodactyle (P. giganteus, P. Cuvieri, and P. 
compressirostris) goes, the organization of these singularly modified 
Reptilia, whose existence extended from the lias upwards to the chalk 
inclusive, had undergone no transmutation — no tendency to pass into 
any other or higher winged form of animal. Neither had it in any 
measure degenerated ; but, on the contrary, had attained its max- 
imum of development immediately prior to its final disappearance 
when, at the close of the secondary epoch in geology, the Pterodac- 
tyles were blotted out of existence. 



CRETINISM IN ENGLAND. 

At the last meeting of the British Association at Edinburgh, it 
was suggested, in a paper read by Dr. Coldstream, " that it was 
advisable to obtain statistical information as to the number of idiots 
in Great Britain." The knowledge to be thus obtained is still most 



216 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

desirable and requisite to the due carrying forward of the work of 
forming institutions for their relief. Since the last meeting, we 
have renewed proofs that the Swiss cretin is in many cases capable 
not only of relief but of cure. The late visit of Dr. Guggenbiihl, 
founder of the Institution on the Abendberg, has caused fresh obser- 
vation on this subject to be made known and confirmed. He was 
unable to remain in England to attend this meeting, but he is very 
anxious that all possible research should be continued concerning the 
numbers of those afflicted with the malady in this country, and the 
degree of idiocy to which they are reduced. He made several 
journeys through different counties of England, the result of which 
has been partly made known in a " Letter addressed to Lord Ashley, 
on some Points of Public Concern and Christian Legislation." 
Although the disease exists under different forms in different coun- 
tries, yet in all its states it must always be considered as one of the 
greatest calamities which can afflict a family or an individual ; and 
each country is deeply concerned in ascertaining how far it may be 
relieved or cured, as well as in what manner it may be averted or 
prevented hf timely care. That it is a question peculiarly affecting 
the present attention to sanitary measures, both in towns and in 
villages, is undoubtedly evident. It may be denied by some that 
any true cretins exist in England ; although Dr. Guggenbiihl relates 
that " of 500 idiots lately discovered in Lancashire, a considerable 
number are marked with the character of cretinism. In the village 
of Settle, I detected some cases nearly identical with many of the 
cretins of the Alps. In the village of Chiselborough, in Somerset- 
shire, most of its 350 inhabitants are afflicted with goitre, are very 
subject to deafness, imperfect utterance, and low degree of intelli- 
gence, which in as many as twenty-four individuals descends to 
absolute cretinism." Idiocy is generally allowed to be incurable, 
whilst cretinism has been often cured ; yet, in all cases, idiots are 
capable of some kind of amelioration. This has been proved by 
Dr. Howe, of Boston, United States ; and by the institutions founded 
within the last few years in this country. At Park House, High- 
gate, and at the branch institution at Essex Hall, Colchester, great 
relief has been afforded and beneficial changes have been effected 
in the state of the poor idiot children, in regard to health, behaviour, 
happiness, comfort, and even intelligence ; for in many cases they 
have been enabled to occupy themselves in various useful ways. The 
work of restoring the cretins has been carried on in Switzei-land by 
one devoted individual during the last ten yeara. Similar establish- 
ments are now rising up in several countries of the Continent. 
Three houses have been opened in this country for the poor idiot ; 
but the number of applicants far exceeds the vacancies. To ascer- 
tain the numbers and to provide institutions, is now a work to be 
carried on ; every effort hitherto made having proved successful so 
far as the nature of the case admitted of relief or cure. — Mr. R. 
Twining; Proceedings of the British Association; Athenceum, No. 
1238. 



ZOOLOGY. 217 

COMPARISON OF ATHLETIC MEN OF GREAT BRITAIN WITH GREEK STATUES. 

Mr. Brent, who undertook this comparison, begins by stating the 
difficulty of arriving at an accurate average of the weights and mea- 
surements of the men of any given country. In order to obtain 
those of the athletse, he measured and weighed celebrated boxers, 
cricketers, wrestlers, rowers, pedestrians, and others. These he com- 
pared to the heights and weights of soldiers and policemen, and 
thence with certain celebrated Greek statues. And from such a com- 
parison it appears that the wrestlers of Cornwall, Devon, and the 
north of England are not inferior to those statues. — Proceedings of the 
British Association. 



CONVERSION OF ASCI INTO SPORES. 

A paper has been communicated to the British Association, " On 
some facts tending to show the probability of the Conversion of Asci 
into Spores in certain Fungi," by the Rev. M. J. Berkeley and Mr. 
C. E. Broome. The species of plants which afforded the materials 
for the remarks of the authors were the following : — 1. Tympanis sa- 
ligna (Tode). — 2. Sphceria inguinans (Tode). — 3. Hendersonia muta- 
bills (Berkeley and Broome.) In the first instance a specimen of the 
T. saliyna produced both sporidiferous asci and naked spores from 
the same hymenium. In the second case, the sphasria was found 
growing together in the same matrix with the Stilbospora macro- 
vperma, the two plants having a common orifice for the emission of 
their sporidia and spores. In the third case, a specimen of If. muta- 
bilis exhibited two cells containing different bodies, each having the 
character of spores. 

Dr. J. Hooker stated, that from his examination of the laminariae 
of the Antarctic expedition, he had no doubt that an ascus might be 
converted into spores. The examination of this subject was fraught 
with interest to the botanist, and he hoped further observations would 
be made. 



RECENT IMPRESSIONS OF THE FEET OF BIRDS. 

Mr. J. L. Hayes states, that Dr. Webster, of Nova Scotia, has 
lately procured some specimens of recent Bird-tracks in the sand of 
the Bay of Fundy, which are precisely like the fossil bird-tracks of 
the sandstone of the Connecticut valley. The enormous tides of this 
bay wear away the sandstone, and deposit it on the neighbouring 
beaches to the depth of from half an inch to an inch at each side. 
Dr. Webster carefully removed some of this sand, bearing the foot- 
prints of marsh-birds, and baked it so as to preserve the impressions 
perfectly. It was even found that in splitting these slabs into layers, 
the impressions of the track could be traced through three or four of 
them as in the fossil specimens. The same success attended his expe- 
riments on the impressions of recent rain-drops. Dr. Gould mentioned 
that he had seen similiar specimens from Nova Scotia baked by the 
heat of the summer sun during the recess of the tide ; and Lyell also 



218 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

obtained specimens, which were so satisfactory as to convince English 
geologists that the fossil bird-tracks were really what they had been 
considered by American geologists. — Proc. Boston Society of Natural 
History. 



THE KNOWSLEY MENAGERIE. 

This celebrated series of animals, collected by the late Earl of 
Derby, at Knowsley, near Liverpool, was dispersed by auction in 
October, 1851. Lord Derby never aimed at a general collection, and 
constantly excluded carnivora, quadrumana, and the larger pachy- 
derms, from his collection of quadrupeds. Deer, antelopes, cattle, 
zebras, llamas, and marsupiata, were the groups most cultivated by 
him. The total number of specimens amounted to 1617, belonging to 
412 species; and it is a remarkable fact that nearly one-half of the 
Zoological Society's collection were bred in his lordship's possession. 
Thirteen species of deer, twenty species of antelopes, and a herd of 
twenty-one alpacas and llamas, were unrivalled in Europe. Among 
the most beautiful features in this rare assemblage were a herd of the 
common Indian antelope (A . cervicapra), seven in number ; a herd of 
the harnessed antelope (A. scripta); and a similar herd of Nylghaus, 
the whole of which had been bred at Knowsley. The collection of 
birds was far more general in character than that of the quadru- 
peds, and it was among them that the principal part of the 754 
specimens bred in the possession of Lord Derby were to be found. 

The entire collection produced only about 7000Z.; while it is 
stated to have cost Lord Derby nearly 10,000Z. per annum. The 
Brahmin bulls fetched 301. and 501. each, and the cows 141. and 211.; 
llamas, 331. to 651.; zebras, 150Z. and 140Z.; three kangaroos, 1051. 
The eagles fetched from 10Z. 10s. to 251. each; emus, 501. a-pair; 
ostriches, from 18Z. to 70Z. each; parrots and parroquets, from 
1Z. 10s. to 161. each; bustards, 161. a-pair; East India cassowary, 
281.; cranes, 381. each; red-backed pelicans, 44Z. the pair. The four 
black-necked swans brought 1731. Several of the finest specimens 
were purchased by the Zoological Society. — (See page 221.) 

METAMORPHOSIS AND METAGENESIS. 

Professor Owen has delivered at the Royal Institution a lecture 
upon these phenomena. The lecturer commenced by passing under 
review the Linnaean characters of minerals, vegetables, and animals, 
and the subsequent distinctions which had been proposed for the 
discrimination of the two latter kingdoms of Nature. After discussing 
those founded on motion, the stomach, the respiratory products, the 
composition of the tissues, and the sources of nourishment, it was 
shown that none of these singly, define absolutely the boundaries 
between plants and animals ; it requires that a certain proportion of 
the supposed characteristics should be combined for that purpose. 

Between the organic and inorganic worlds the line of demarcation 
may be more definitely drawn. The term "growth " cannot be used in 
the same sense to signify the increase of a mineral and of an organism. 



ZOOLOGY. 219 

The mode of increase is different : there is a definite limit to it in 
the organic kingdom, and something more than mere growth takes 
place in the progress of an organism from its commencement to ma- 
turity. This was exemplified by reference to the human subject, to 
the lion which acquires its mane, to the stag which gets its horns, 
and to the change of plumage in birds during the course of growth. 
The changes of form and character are still more remarkable in the 
kangaroo ; and in the frog they are such as to have received the name 
of "metamorphosis." 

The development of the frog was traced to its exclusion from the 
egg in the form of a fish, with external gills, a long caudal fin, and 
without legs. 

Next an animal formed for moving in water is changed into one 
adapted for moving and leaping on land ; a water-breather is converted 
into an air-breather ; a vegetable into a carnivorous animal : yet the 
series of transmutations are limited to the nature of the species, and 
produce no other. The frogs that croak in our marshes are as 
strictly batrachian as those that leapt in Pharaoh's chamber ; their 
metamorphoses have led to nothing higher than their original 
condition, as far as history gives us any knowledge of it. With each 
successive generation the series of changes recommences from the 
old point, and ends in a condition of the animal adapted to set the 
same series again on foot. 

Having traced the principal stages in the metamorphosis of an 
animal from a swimmer to a leaper, the lecturer next took an 
instance where one that begins life as a burrower or a crawler is 
converted into an animal of rapid and powerful flight. 

The chief steps in the metamorphosis were traced as they affect 
the outward form, the digestive organs, the circulatory, respiratory, 
and nervous systems. 

From seven to eleven successive generations have been traced 
before the individual (Aphis) has finally metamorphosed into the 
winged male or winged oviparous female. 

In autumn, when nights grow chilly and long, the oviparous 
imago completes her duty by depositing the eggs in the axils of the 
leaves of the plant, where they are protected from the winter frost, 
and ready to be hatched at the return of spring. Then recommences 
the cycle of change, which being carried through a succession of 
individuals and not completed in a single lifetime, is a " metagenesis" 
rather than a "metamorphosis." 

This phenomenon, which, until very recently, was deemed an ex- 
ception, and a most marvellous one, in Nature, now proves to be an 
example of a condition of procreation to which the greater part of 
organized nature is subject. 

The lecturer was inevitably limited in his choice of illustrations ; 
and proceeded to an instance of metagenesis from the radiated sub- 
kingdom of animals. 

Professor Owen concluded by observing that the chief aim of the 
present discourse was to point out the circumstances which bring 



220 YEAK-BOOK OP FACTS. 

about the presence of the same essential cause in the cases of the 
development of the successive generations completing the metagenetic 
cycle of the Aphis, the Medusa, the Polype, and the Entozoon. The 
cause is the same in kind though not in degree ; and every successive 
generation, or series of spontaneous fissions, of the primary germ-cell 
must weaken the pollen-force transmitted to such successive genera- 
tions of cells. 

The force is exhausted in proportion to the complexity and living 
powers of the organism developed from the primary germ-cell and 
germ-mass. It is consequently longest retained and furthest trans- 
mitted in the vegetable kingdom ; the zoophytes manifest it in the 
next degree of force ; and the power of retained germ-cells to develop 
a germ-mass and embryo by the remnant of the pollen-force which 
they inherited, is finally lost, according to present knowledge, in the 
class of insecta and in the lower mollusca. 

We have selected the above details from an abstract of this im- 
portant lecture communicated to Jameson's Journal, at the request 
of the Editor, by Professor Owen. 



THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

The Secretary's Report (1851) presents a most gratifying picture 
of the success of this establishment beyond that of all previous years. 

Among the additions to the menagerie is an Elephant calf. On 
April 19, there was first exhibited to the Society a female elephant, 
which was purchased at Cawnpore, at the end of August, 1850, by 
Mr. Wallace, a Calcutta horsedealer, who, journeying homeward, 
made a halt of three weeks in September, when the Elephant gave 
birth to a healthy little calf. Within a few minutes, the calf, then 
weighing about 56 lbs., stood up, and began to suck in a very sin- 
gular manner. The udder of the elephant is situated between the 
fore-legs, and the calf assists himself with his trunk in placing the 
teat in his lips at the side of his mouth. He sucked several times 
a day during the journey down to Calcutta. At that time the calf 
could not walk more than a mile in each march, and was, therefore, 
carried in a cart. The mother came close behind it, and generally 
caressed her offspring with her trunk, while they moved along, as if to 
assure herself of his safety. Arrived at Calcutta, the elephants were 
sold, and shipped immediately on board the Wellesley, where the calf 
grew rapidly ; and both arrived safely in England. 

The natives who saw the calf on the march to Calcutta regarded 
it with great interest, as there is no recent instance, if any, of 
elephants breeding in domestication : consequently, a sucking ele- 
phant is almost as rare a sight in the neighbourhood of Calcutta as 
the young hippopotamus was at Alexandria. The present instance 
is certainly the first in which so young an elephant of this species has 
ever reached Europe. 

The Zoological Society now possessed a herd of four elephants, 
eight lions and lionesses ; besides the hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and 
both species of tapir, being the largest collection of pachydemiata 
ever possessed by the Society, or ever exhibited in Europe. 



ZOOLOGY. 221 

Amongst the other additions most note-worthy is the Apteryx, or 
Kiwi, already noticed. 

A great number of other animals have been added, to a variety 
of classes : — they include twenty-two species of mammalia, thirty of 
birds, and twelve of reptiles. Amongst the mammalia are a pair of 
magnificent tigers, presented by his Highness the Guicowar of 
Baroda. The collection of monkies has been greatly extended by 
recent additions. Mr. Alderman Finnis has presented a Syrian bear, 
— and with this addition the collection of the species of bear in 
these Gardens is one of the largest ever made. 

The additions to the Reptile department include several species not 
before possessed by the Society. Amongst others, there is a speci- 
men of the yellow snake (Chilabothrus inomatus), from Jamaica, — 
which has produced young since it has been in the Gardens. Two 
Iguanas — one from Cuba, the other from Carthagena — have been 
added. These creatures are a source of interest as bearing so close 
a resemblance in everything but size to the gigantic fossil Iguanodon. 
Amongst the expected arrivals in the reptile-house was (in December) 
a magnificent specimen of the Anaconda (Eunectes murinm), for- 
warded by Mr. Strutt, stipendiary magistrate at Berbice. This 
creature — which measured above twelve feet in length, and would 
have been one of the largest serpents in the collection — unfortunately 
died in its passage to this country. It was in the same ship with 
the Boa which, arriving in good health and great appetite, mistook 
its blanket for a rabbit. The creature disgorged its blanket on the 8th 
of November. 

The above additions are independent of the private ones made by 
the Society, at the sale of the collection of the late Earl of Derby, at 
Knowsley. The following list shows what important additions have 
thus been made to mammalia and birds. 

Antelopes.— 5 Elands (bequeathed), 2 Leucoryx, Sing-Sing, Harte-Beeste. 
2 Bonte-Boks, 2 Korinne-Gazelles, 2 Four-horned Antelopes, Duiker-Bok. 

Cattle— Danta Bull. 

Beer, Sfc. — Barasingha, Moluccan Deer, Burchell's Zebra, Cape Hyrax, 
Squirrel. 

Rapacious Birds.— Cinereous Vulture, 2 Ibicter Aquilinus, Milvago Australia, 
Milvago Chimango, Vulturine Eagle, Martial Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Bateleur 
Eagle, Black Kite, Cape Owl, Spotted-eared Owl. 

Insessorial Birds.— White Chatterer, Malabar Grakle, Contra Grakle, Why- 
dah Bird, Blue Grosbeak, Chilian Finch, Diuca. 

Rusorial Birds. — Prince Albert's Curassow, Purple Guan, Californian Quail, 
Tat ai 1 1 >a Tinamoo, BufescantTinamoo. 4 Chilian Tinamoos, Clapperton's Franco- 
lin,8 Cape Francolins, Cape Francolin, Chuckar Partridge, 2 Abyssinian Pintados. 

Qrallatorial Birds. — Port Esungton Kail, Wattled Crane, Sacred Ibis, Bald 
Ibis, Chilian Ibis, SpUT-winged Plover. 

Natatorial Birds. — 4 Black-necked Swans, Mountain Casarca, 2 Royal Sarki- 
diornis, 2 Magellanio Geese, Treeduck, Hybrid Duck, 6 Bahama Ducks, 
Chilian Ducks, Indian Duck, 5 Crimson-Bill Ducks, 2 Guilbecs, Smee Bait, 

In order to locate such large accessions, increased accommodation 
has been demanded. Thus, additions have been made to the carni- 
vora houses, and to the giraffe house. The animals arranged in the 
latter occupy not less than two hundred and five feet. 

The total number of visitors in 1851 was 667,213, being 306,811 
more than in 1850. 



222 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

BOTANY. 



THEORY OF THE FORMATION OF WOOD, AND THE DESCENT 
OF THE SAP IN PLANTS. 

In a paper read by Dr. Lankester, to the British Association, the 
author drew attention to the theory of the Formation of Wood in 
Plants, and objected to the view that the leaves form the wood ; on 
the ground that the ligneous, like all other tissues, were the result of 
the growth of cells, which were not formed in the leaves, but in all 
parts of the plant. Wood was formed in all parts of the plant, where 
elongated cells were generated, quite independently of leaves, or the 
formation of leaves ; as in the lower part of the cut wounds of 
the stems of plants, in the portions of trunks left when trees 
were cut down, in the abortive branches formed in the bark of 
such trees as the elm and the cedar, and in other parts of the 
vegetable structure. He also objected to the theory of the forma- 
tion of the ligneous or any other secretion, which might be sub- 
sequently appropriated by the cells, in the leaves alone. He main- 
tained that all the facts brought forward to support the theory 
of the descent of the sap might be explained on the known 
fact of the ready permeability of the tissues of the plant. He 
related the details of experiments performed on the species of spurge ; 
in which the fluid was found to exude from the stem and branches in 
these plants, just in proportion to the quantity of fluid contained in 
the plant, above or below the section made. The cells of plants 
were nourished in two ways : — first, by the sap containing carbonic 
acid, ammonia, and other substances ; and, secondly, by materials, 
as sugar, gum, &c, formed in the cells. These latter were not 
formed solely in the leaves, but in all cells. He regarded the leaves 
as organs by which the water of the sap was got rid of, and by this 
means a further supply of sap from the earth and atmosphere was 
insured. This function was performed in subservience to changes 
which were attributed to a specific vitality. 

Professor Henslow said that he agreed with the views of Dr. Lan- 
kester, with regard to the theory of the formation of wood, proposed 
by Du Petit Thouars. He thought it was evident that whatever was 
the function of the leaf, it did not send down the woody fibres 
which formed the trunk and branches of exogenous trees. The 
tracing the woody fibres up to the leaf, did not prove their origin 
there. With regard to the descent of the sap, he did not agree 
with the author of the paper, who, he thought, took too physical a 
view of the function of the plant. The leaves were not mere organs 
of evaporation. They performed the function of exhalation, which 
was independent of heat, and depended on the vitality of the plant. 
He believed that the leaves did effect a certain change in the juices 
brought to them, which changed matter was again taken back into 
the system of the plant, and there being taken up by the cells pro- 
duced th* results which were found in the deposit of lignine and the 



BOTANY. 223 

other secreted matters of plants. Mr. Huxley quoted the instance of 
the rapid growth and great quantity of wood formed by the various 
kinds of Liana of tropical forests, as instances in favour of the forma- 
tion of wood, independently of the leaves. These plants had all of 
them a remarkably small number of leaves. Professor Asa Gray 
believed that the theory of the formation of wood, as held by Du HameJ, 
Du Petit Thouars, and others, was no longer tenable. The formation of 
vessels from cells, could be easily observed ; and in exogenous plants 
there was no vacuity between the wood and the bark, for the woody 
fibres to be sent down through. Even in the spring of the year, 
when the sap was passing most rapidly between the wood and the 
bark, the organic connexion was complete. Whether matter was 
elaborated in the leaves and sent down into the plant, he was not 
prepared to say, but further experiments were desirable. Dr. Fowler 
quoted some experiments, which he thought proved that the mate- 
rials of the growth of the plant were not prepared in the leaves. Dr. 
Lankester replied, and stated that at present it appeared to him that 
the statement of the preparation of gum or any other secretion in the 
plant, which was found subsequently in any other part of the plant, 
was an assumption that required proof; and that all the phenomena 
of vegetation were susceptible of a simple explanation. 

CALIFORNIA SOAP-PLANT. 

The Soap-Plant, so called, grows all over California, on high hills 
as well as in the valleys. The leaves make their appearance about 
the middle of November, or about six weeks after the rainy season 
has fairly set in. The plants never grow more than one foot high, 
and the leaves and stalks drop off entirely in May, though the bulbs 
remain in the ground all summer without decaying. It is used to 
wash with in all parts of the country, and by those who know its 
virtues it is preferred to the best of soap. The method of using it is 
merely to strip off the husk, dip the clothes in water, and rub the 
bulb on them ; it makes a thick lather, and smells not unlike new 
brown soap. The botanical name of the plant is Phalangium poma- 
ridianum. Besides this plant, the bark of a tree, Chelaria saponaria, 
is also used in South America for the purposes of washing. Several 
other plants have been used in various countries as a substitute for 
soap. All of these contain considerable quantities of oleaginous and 
alkaline principles in their composition ; on which their value de- 
pends. — Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. 



THE BAMBOO. 

There is no plant in Bengal that is applied to such a variety of 
useful purposes as the bamboo. Besides being employed in the con- 
struction of the implements of weaving, it is used for almost every 
conceivable purpose to which wood is applied in other countries. It 
forms the posts and frames of the roofs of huts ; scaffoldings for build- 
ing houses ; portable stages used in the various processions of the 
natives ; raised floors, for storing rice and various kinds of agricul- 



224 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

tural produce, in order to preserve them from damp ; platforms for 
merchandise in warehouses and shops ; stakes for nets in rivers ; bars, 
over which nets and clothes are spread to dry; rafts; the masts, 
yards, oars, spars, and decks of boats. It is used in the construction 
of bridges across creeks ; for fences around houses and gardens ; as a 
lever for raising water for irrigation ; and as flag-poles in bazaars, 
police stations, akharas, &c. It is the material of which several agri- 
cultural implements are made, as the harrow, and handles of hoes, 
clod-breakers, &c. Hackeries or carts, doolees or litters, and biers 
are all made of it. The common mode of carrying light goods is to 
suspend them from the end of a piece of split bamboo laid across the 
shoulder. The shafts of javelins or spears, and bows and arrows, 
clubs, fishing-rods, &c, are formed of it. It is employed in the ma- 
nufacture of fireworks, as rockets, &e. A joint of it serves as a 
holder for various articles, as pens, small instruments, and tools, and 
as a case in which things of little bulk are sent to a distance. The 
eggs of the silkworm were thus brought from China to Constantinople 
in the time of Justinian. A joint of it also answers the purpose of a 
bottle, and is used for holding milk, oil, and various fluids ; and a 
section of it constitutes the measure for liquids in bazaars. A piece 
of it, of small diameter, is used as a blowpipe, to kindle the fire, and 
by gold and silversmiths in melting metals. It also supplies the place 
of a tube in a distilling apparatus. A cleft bamboo is employed as a 
conduit for conveying water from the roofs of huts. Split into small 
pieces, it is used in making baskets, coops for poultry, birdcages, 
and various traps for fishing. A small bit of it, split at one end, 
serves as a tongs to take up burning charcoal ; and. a thin slip of it is 
sharp enough to be used as a knife in shelling betel-nuts, &c. Its 
surface is so hard, that it answers the purpose of a whetstone, upon 
which the ryots sharpen their billhooks, sickles, &c. — The Cotton 
Manufacture in Dacca. 

THE VICTORIA REGIA. 

A SUCCESSFUL attempt has been made by Messrs. John Weeks and 
Co., King's-road Nursery, Chelsea, to grow this magnificent plant in 
the open air. For this purpose was prepared a pond 21 feet in 
diameter and 3| feet in depth, wherein the lily was planted in loam 
and river sand, on the 3rd of March, 1851, when it had three leaves, 
the largest being 18 inches in diameter. The plant subsequently 
increased in size, and had a robust and healthy appearance: the 
number of leaves on towards the close of May was seven, varying 
from 3| feet to 4 feet in diameter ; and, as the season increased in 
warmth, they attained to a much larger size. The petioles of the 
leaves were from eight to twelve feet in length, throwing them a 
considerable distance from the base of the plant. 

The first flower partially expanded on the evening of the 16th 
of May: for some hours previously it gave out a very rich and 
powerful fragrance, which could be perceived at a considerable dis- 
tance. The flower became fully expanded on the following evening, 



BOTANY. 225 

and displayed all its beauties to an expectant company, who had been 
for a considerable time watching its development. The colours of the 
lily are white and pink ; the outer rows of petals being white, and 
the inner a rich pink. The entire flower is from 9 inches to a foot in 
diameter: it is of short duration, opening only on two successive 
evenings; but there is a constant display of flowers throughout the 
season. The plant has a more noble appearance in the open air than 
when growing in the hothouse aquarium — the leaves becoming hypo- 
crateriform, a natural desideratum of much interest. 

The pond in which the plant grew was heated by hot-water 
pipes, of which there were two rows placed at the bottom communi- 
cating with a boiler, which heated, besides, a range of houses, the 
temperature being thereby kept at from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 
There was a constant flow of water into the pond, and a waste-pipe 
to carry off the superabundance and keep the surface clear. A margin 
of blue, yellow, and white water-lilies was placed round the Victoria 
Regia, and tended to show well their lovely and truly regal sovereign 
in all her majesty. A temporary covering was placed over the plant 
at night to protect it from storm and cutting winds. 

The plant continued long in bloom, so that on November 22nd, 
Messrs. Weeks had a beautiful flower ; when there was another bud on 
the point of expanding in the open heated pond. This was most re- 
markable at the above late cold period of the season. 

A beautiful work devoted to the illustration of this majestic lily, 
giving an accurate botanical description of the plant, and at the same 
time showing the natural size of its gigantic flowers, has been pub- 
lished during the past year.* 



A LIVING UPAS-TREE. 

Lieutenant Marchland, of the United States' navy, has brought 
home with him from Java a living Upas-tree, so famous for its real 
and fanciful poisonous properties. By his care, it was preserved alive 
during the long voyage ; and a few days before its arrival at Norfolk, 
Virginia, leaves sprouted forth. It has been presented to the National 
Institute at Washington, and can be seen at the new observatory. 
It was once rumoured and believed that the poisonous effluvium of 
the tree was so fatal that birds flying over it dropped dead, and that 
all vegetables died under it and far around it. It is now ascertained 
that the juice only is poisonous. Into this juice the savages dip their 
arrows, which then have a double fatality. — New Yoi'k Obwver. 

POISONING BY MUSHROOMS. 

In October last, two officers of the Belgian cuirassiers, quartered at 
Bruges, died under the following circumstances. They had dined in 
their quarters, and ordered some mushrooms dressed in sauce for 
dinner, of which they both partook. A few hours afterwards, 

* Victoria Regia; or, Illustrations of the Royal Water Lily, in a Soviet <>f 
Figures ohiefly made from Specimens flowering at Syon and at Kew. By Walter 
Fitch; with Descriptions by Sir W. J. Hooker. Reeve & Co. 

Q 



226 YEAR-BOOK OF TACTS. 

they were both taken ill of a horrible and agonizing colic, which 
before night became so alarming that medical assistance was sent for, 
when it became the opinion of the doctors that the sufferers had 
been poisoned by the mushrooms. Every effort was made to save 
them, but without effect: after suffering the whole night, during 
which one of them broke his back from the violence of his convul- 
sions, they both expired towards morning. But the most fearful 
circumstance connected with the case is, the declaration of several 
medical men and chemists, that the poison of the mushroom is really 
contained in the true agaricus campestris, or common mushroom, 
after a certain stage of growth ; and Professor Orfila has hinted at 
the same in his work on Poisons. 



CULTURE OF TEA IN THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS. 

A correspondent of the Times, who appends the signature of 
"Indophilus" to his letter, gives the following account of the 
rise and progress of the Cultivation of Tea in the Himalayan 
mountains : — 

" Among the multitudinous contents of the Crystal Palace there 
are numerous things which one is apt to pass by without notice, 
because their history is unknown, and we have no means of judging 
of their importance. In this state I believe are a few boxes of tea 
among the raw products of the Indian department. Most have heard 
of Assam Tea from India ; but few, probably have inquired whether 
all the tea there shown comes from the same locality, or what im- 
portance they are to attach to the information that some of it comes 
from the tea plantations of the East India Company, in Kemaon ; 
because still fewer know whether this district is in the vicinity of, or 
at some remote distance from Assam. It may therefore be as well 
to premise that Kemaon is a very mountainous district of the Hima- 
layas, some hundreds of -miles from Assam, and to the north-west of 
Nepaul, between 29 and 30 degrees of north latitude, forming a por- 
tion of the province of Delhi ; and that a large tract of country, 
similar in structure, elevation, and climate, extends thence to the 
hilly regions lately acquired from the Sikhs, including valleys of con- 
siderable extent. The idea of cultivating tea on the Himalayan 
mountains has occurred to several. Dr. Boyle, when superintendent 
of the East India Company's Botanic Gardens at Saharampore, 
recommended the culture of tea in the mountains in that vicinity in 
the years 1827 and 1831, and again in an essay in his ' Himalayan 
Botany,' in 1834. Dr. Falconer, who succeeded him in the above 
office, recommended the same tract when the Indian government 
were turning their attention to the culture of tea in India. From 
the difficulty in those days of obtaining precise information on all 
the requisite points, the method adopted for ascertaining what was 
required for the successful cultivation of the tea plant elsewhere than 
in China was to draw inferences from the extent of its geographical 
distribution in that country ; the general nature of the soil, the pecu- 
liarities of the climate, with such notices of the vegetation as were 



BOTANY. 227 

obtainable from the progress of the British embassies. The conclu- 
sions did not appear satisfactory to some minds, for the views were 
pronounced theoretic, and the attempt visionary. A deputation, 
consisting of Messrs. Gordon and Gutzlaff, was, however, sent to the 
coasts of China to obtain tea seeds, which they succeeded in procuring 
from the southern parts of the tea districts of China. These being 
sown in Calcutta, vegetated; but of 10,000 young plants sent to 
north-west India, only 1326 reached the hills alive in the beginning 
of the year 1836. At the end of 1838 some of the plants flowered, 
ripened their seeds, which were also sown, and cuttings made, so that 
the plantations were much extended. In the year 1842 some Chinese 
tea manufacturers, who had been in Assam, were sent to Keinaon ; 
and in the autumn of that year some tea was prepared by them from 
the above plants. This tea was considered in Calcutta worth 2s.6d. per 
lb., and in London it was pronounced to be of the ' Oolong souchong 
kind, fine flavoured, and strong, equal to the superior black teas 
generally sent as presents.' The culture and manufacture have since 
then been carried on with energy and judgment by the present super- 
intendent, Dr. Jameson, who, in the year 1844, had 100,000 plants 
growing in the nurseries. In 1846 these had been extended to 176 
acres, and the plant was thriving over four degrees of latitude and 
three of longitude, at elevations varying from 2500 to 6500 feet. In 
the year 1848 the cultivation covered 1000 acres, and was extended 
to the Beeas Valley, and the hilly country near Kangra, that is, in 
the newly- acquired Sikh territories. The subject was warmly taken 
up by Lord Hardinge, and the Indian government authorized an out- 
lay to the extent of £10.000 a year. The manufacture continued to 
be carried on; and, though a prophet has no honour in his country, 
and Anglo-Indians are not given to value indigenous above imported 
products, this tea was sold on the spot in the year 1847, the green for 
9-4 rupees to 10-8 rupees a seer, that is, above 9s. and 10s. a pound, 
and the black at from 4s. to 7s. a pound. Since then the sales of tea 
have continued to be nearly as good ; the inferior qualities being 
taken across the passes of the frontier into Thibet, that is, into terri- 
tories under the dominion of the Chinese, where it successfully con- 
tends with the teas which are brought there from China. Portions 
of the teas have been occasionally sent to this country, and have been 
favourably reported on by brokers, and thought to be worth from 2s. 
to 3s. 6d. a pound. Most of it was distributed in presents. From 
these reports, and the constant comparison of these teas with those 
of the Ankoy district of China, it was inferred either that the tea 
seeds had been obtained from that district, or from the Chinese manu- 
facturers, who were acquainted only with the processes adopted in 
the southern latitudes of China. At all events, the times were 
favourable for obtaining seeds and plants; perhaps, also, manufac- 
turers nearer the districts whence the chief teas of commerce are 
mainly procured. 

"Three years since, the Court of Directors of the East India Com* 
pany engaged Mr. Fortune, so well known as an horticulturist, and 

Q 2 



228 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

from his work on China, to proceed to the northern coast of that 
country, in order to obtain the best kinds of tea-plant, perhaps still 
more hardy varieties ; to make inquiries respecting the different varie- 
ties of manufacture ; and, if possible, to engage some manufacturers 
acquainted with the process employed on the teas of commerce, to 
return with him to India. Mr. Fortune seems to have been very 
successful in his mission, as he has continued to send seeds and tea- 
plants to India from the northern parts of China ; and private letters 
mention that, in addition to 8000 previously sent from the black tea 
and green tea districts of China, he has returned to India, indeed had 
arrived at the tea nurseries in the Himalayas, bringing with him 
above 12,000 living plants, and a vast number of seeds in a germi- 
nating state ; so that, with these and their produce, the whole of the 
north-western hills and the Kohistan of the Punjab may be planted 
in a comparatively short period of time. Mr. Fortune had also suc- 
ceeded in bringing witb him eight more manufacturers of tea from 
the above districts ; and is reported to have said that the vegetation 
of the tea nurseries bears a striking resemblance to that of the Chinese 
tea-hills ; that the rocks and soil are identical ; and that the nurseries 
on the sides of sloping hills, as at Paoree and near Almorah, were 
most healthy, and full of vigorous-looking plants. There can be no 
doubt, then, of as complete success as was long since anticipated by 
the supporters of the experiment. I have not alluded, hitherto, to a 
difficulty which was at one time experienced, that of determining 
whether one or two plants were employed by the Chinese in making 
the best green and black teas of commerce, in consequence of the dis- 
crepant statements from Canton. The difficulty has long since been 
resolved by the experiments in Assam and in Kemaon, where both 
kinds of tea are manufactured from the same plant ; also by Mr. 
Fortune's observations on his first visit to China ; and by Mr. Ball's 
very able work on the manufacture of tea in China. The differences 
in appearance and quality depend upon differences in the processes of 
manufacture ; the greatest difference consisting in the black tea having 
to undergo a process of fermentation, or withering, as it is called, 
while the leaves for the green tea are roasted without undergoing any 
previous change. No colouring matter is required, and none is 
allowed to be used in the East India Company's tea nurseries ; but 
when purchasers in Canton required the green tea to be of as brilliant 
a hue as some of our teatrays, the Chinese did not hesitate to supply 
the requisite quantity of indigo or Prussian blue and yellow turmeric 
to produce the desired bright green. Your mercantile readers will 
require to know at what expense this Himalayan tea can be brought 
into the market. The results of mere experiments are, of course, 
doubtful ; but, when carried on on the gigantic scale of the tea culture 
in the Himalayas, we may trust the calculations of the superintendent, 
that it can be afforded as cheaply as any of the good China teas. We 
have, therefore, now only to look for some of this tea making its ap- 
pearance in the market, though what has hitherto been made is not 
probably so good as what the new manufacturers will pi-oduce." 



BOTANY. 229 

THE VINE MALADY IN FRANCE. 

Experiments have been made in various parts of France, where 
the Vine Malady has made its appearance, to ascertain whether the 
grapes which have escaped destruction, but are more or less affected 
by the malady, are injurious as food. Both the grapes and leaves 
have been given to rabbits and other animals for several days succes- 
sively, without their producing any bad effect. It appears that in 
some districts the entire crop of grapes has been destroyed by the 
malady; in others, the effect has been only partial, while the greater 
portion of the vines of the south have escaped entirely. As the wood 
of the vine where the disease has appeared is affected by it, some 
fears are entertained for the next season ; but many of the growers 
hope to prevent further injury by washing the wood with a strong 
solution of lime or with gas tar, which has in many cases been found 
a complete remedy for vegetable disease. — Times. 



MARINE FLORA OF THE UNITED STATES. 

Prof. Harvey, of Dublin, states there to exist a greater degree of 
similarity in the Marine Flora of the two sides of the Atlantic than 
in their marine Fauna ; from the facility with which the spores of the 
Alga may be transported to a great distance by natural agencies. 
But, from the size of the isothermal lines on the European side, the 
species of low latitudes in America are similar to those of the higher 
latitudes in Europe: those of Key West, for instance, in lat. 24°, are 
similar to those of the Mediterranean. It is not yet possible to mark 
out with precision the geographical distribution of Alga along the coast; 
but differences may be perceived in the Marine Flora of the region 
north of Cape Cod, that of Long Island Sound, that of Charleston 
Harbour, and that of Key West. — Proceedings of the American Asso- 
ciation. / 

VITALITY OF SEEDS. 

Prof. Henslowe has remarked to the British Association, that 
during 1850, he had planted several Seeds sent to the Committee 
appointed to report on this subject, and out of those he had planted 
two had grown. They both belonged to the order Leguminosae, and 
one was produced from seed seventeen, and the other from seed 
twenty, years old. On the whole, it appeared that the seeds of legu- 
minosae retained their vitality longest. Tournefort had recorded an 
instance of beans growing after having been kept a hundred years, 
•and Willdenow had observed a sensitive plant to grow from seed that 
had been kept sixty years. The instances of plants growing from 
seeds found in mummies were all erroneous. So also was the case, 
related by Dr. Lindley, of a raspberry-bush growing from seed found 
in the inside of a man buried in an ancient barrow. 

Mr. Bnbington related a case in which M. Fries, of Upsala, suc- 
ceeded in growing a species of Hieracium from seeds which had been 
in his herbarium upwards of fifty years. Desmoulins recorded an 
thsfemoe of the opening of some ancient tombs in which seed was 
found, and on being planted they produced species of scabiosa and 
heliotropium. Recently some seeds from Egypt were sown in Cam 



230 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

bridge which were thought to have germinated ; but on examining 
them they were covered with a pitchy substance, which had evidently 
been applied subsequent to their germination, and thus they had pre- 
served the appearance of growth through a long period of time. Dr. 
Cleghorn stated that after the burning or clearing of a forest in India, 
invariably there sprung up a new set of plants which were not known 
in the spot before. 

THE POTATO DISEASE IN AUSTRALIA. 

Mr. Bicheno has communicated to the Royal Society of Van Die- 
men's Land, a paper, in which he is inclined to conclude that the blight 
(or aphides) are the result, not the cause of the disease, and that the 
disease is caused by the continual reproduction of the potato from 
roots ; but he is confident that the health of new plants raisedfrom 
seed in a new colony would not readily be affected by these insects. 
"We may add that this conclusion has been come to by many who 
have studied the subject both theoretically and experimentally. It 
is now so difficult to get potatoes in Sydney, fit for eating, that it 
is hoped the growers in the south, from whom the principal supply 
of the root is obtained, will turn their attention to the propagation 
of the plant from the seed. 



REPRODUCTION OF THE HIGHER CRTPTOGAMIjE. 

Mr. A. Henfeey has communicated to the British Association an 
instalment of a Report, called for by the Association, in 1850, on 
the recent progress of Vegetable Physiology, from Dr. Lindley, Dr. 
Lankester, and Mr. Henfrey. The greater part of this Report is 
taken up by a summary of the facts at present on record, respecting 
the occurrence of the organs termed antheridia and pistillidia, in all 
the higher families of cryptogamic plants,— viz., the Mosses, Liver- 
worts, Ferns, Horse-tails, Club-mosses and Pepperworts. After 
discussing the various points, the Report concludes : — " Perhaps the 
time has hardly come for us to arrive at any conclusion on these 
points. The phenomena in the Ferns and Equisetaceae, as well as in 
the Rhizocarpeas, Lycopodiaceae, and Iscetaceae less strikingly, seem 
to present a series of conditions, analogous to those which have been 
described under the name of "alternations of generations " in the 
animal kingdom ; and seeing the resemblance which the pistillidia of 
the mosses, bear to the " ovules " of the other families, we can hardly 
help extending the same views to them ; in which case we should 
have the remarkable phenomenon of a compound organism, in which 
a new individual, forming a second generation, developed, after a 
process of fertilization, remains attached organically to its parent, 
from which it differs totally in all anatomical and physiological 
characters. It is almost needless to advert to the essential differ- 
ence between such a case and that of the occurrence of flower- 
buds and leaf-buds upon the same stem in the Phanerogamia, as 
parts of a single plant, yet possessing a certain amount of inde- 
pendent vitality. These are produced from each other by simple 
extension, by a process of germination; while the moss capsule, if 
the sexual theory be correct, is the result of a true reproductive 



BOTANY. 231 

process. Moreover, we have the analogy to the increase by ger- 
mination in the innovations, by which the leafy stems of the 
mosses are multiplied. In conclusion, it is remarked, that these 
anomalous conditions lose their remarkable character to a great 
extent, if we refuse to accept the evidence of sexuality, which is 
brought forward in the report. If the structures are all products 
of mere extension or germination, the analogies which have been 
supposed to exist between them and the organs of flowering plants 
all fall to the ground. But, believing that the hypothesis of sexua- 
lity is based on solid grounds, the Reporter is by no means inclined 
to allow the difficulty of the explanation of these relations to be 
urged as a valid argument against their existence. He trusts that 
the present Report may be the means of attracting new investigations 
to a subject which presents so many points of interest and 
importance. " 

Prof. Henslow referred to the great interest of the questions which 
Mr. Henfrey had undertaken to report on, and felt sure that every 
physiological botanist would study earnestly the very valuable report 
which had been read. 



BOTANY OF THE HIMALAYA MOUNTAINS AND TIBET. 

A paper has been communicated to the British Association, " On 
the Botanical Geography of the Himalaya Mountains and Tibet," by 
Capt. R. Strachey and Major Madden. Capt. Strachey described, 
by the aid of maps and diagrams, the principal features of the vege- 
table kingdom in the districts of India in which he had travelled in 
company with Major Madden. 

Dr. T. Thomson, also by the aid of a series of diagrams, repre- 
senting the distribution of plants in Western Tibet, described the 
botanical geography of this district. 

Dr. J. Hooker observed that Capt. Strachey and Dr. Thomson had 
done for the Himalaya what Humboldt had done for the Andes. The 
district of the Himalaya in which he had travelled was not unlike 
that just described; it was, however, higher, reaching to 28,000 feet, 
whilst that first described was only 25,000 feet. In the Sikkim Hima- 
laya the ascents were constantly modified by descents, and there was 
more rain, and the line of perpetual snow was lower, than in Kumaon. 
Pines were alike abundant in both regions. The larch was abundant 
in Sikkim but absent in Kumaon. Rhododendrons numbered thirty- 
six species in Sikkim but only six or eight in Kumaon. Mr. Win- 
terbottom, who had travelled over the same districts with Capt. 
Strachey and Dr. Thomson, compared the flora of the Alps with that 
of the Himalaya, and pointed out the comparative richness of the 
latter. Where firs alone grew on the Alps, a most varied and beau- 
tiful vegetation was observed in the Himalaya. There was, however, 
a great difference in different districts. Where the rains fell and the 
atmosphere was moist, there the vegetation was most prolific; but 
where there was a want of moisture, the land was sterile and truly 
disagreeable to behold. Many of the plants were representative of 
European species. — Athenixwm, No. 1237. 



232 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 



(fteologg. 



MUSEUM OF PRACTICAL GEOLOGY. 

On Monday, May 19, 1851, this establishment was opened to the 
public under the auspices of Prince Albert. The Museum of Practical 
Geology — formerly occupying a house in Craig's -court, which it out- 
grew — now finds itself lodged in noble and commodious halls in Jer- 
myn-street and Piccadilly. This building, which is from the design 
of Mr. Pennethorne, is, alike in its exterior character and in its in- 
terior arrangements, peculiarly fitted for its purposes. It consists, 
on the ground floor, of a hall devoted to the exhibition of British 
marbles and ornamental and building stones, — a lecture-theatre, 
capable of containing 600 persons, — and a library, well filled with 
such books as relate to the sciences connected with the range of study 
contemplated in the objects of this museum. 

The upper floor is the main apartment of the building, around 
which run two galleries. In the upright cases are collected the 
minerals of the United Kingdom and of the Colonies, — together with 
examples of ores from such foreign states as contribute to the manu- 
factures of our country. On the horizontal cases are shown the pro- 
cesses by which the metal is obtained, and the applications of them 
to use or ornament. The history of manufactures is also to a great 
extent told in the collections of china and glass, and in the examples 
of ancient metal manufacture which have been collected. The gal- 
leries are devoted to pure geology : — the earliest forms of organic life 
being collected in the lowest gallery. The most recent fossil forms 
terminate the collection on the upper tier, in which are also displayed 
examples of rocks, — so that any one desirous of becoming acquainted 
with our lithological characteristics may easily learn them here. 

Adjoining this large room is a smaller one, devoted to models of 
mining machinery, mining tools, safety-lamps, and other illustrations 
of mining, and some metallurgical processes. 

The upper portion of the building is, on the side next Piccadilly, 
devoted to one of the most complete laboratories in London ; and on 
the Jermyn-street side to the Mining Record Office, in which are col- 
lected plans and sections of mineral workings, and statistical infor- 
mation respecting the produce of the metals in this country and in 
the colonies, — which afford much information to those interested in 
this extensive source of our national wealth. 

On the arrival of the Prince Consort, he was received by the 
Chief Commissioner of Her Majesty's Woods and Works — Sir Henry 
De la Beche, the director of the institution, — the officers of the es- 
tablishment, and a numerous party, including members of the go- 
vernment and of the aristocracy and the leading scientific men of the 
day. The director read an address, which pointed out the advantages 



GEOLOGY. 233 

of the institution, — to which His Royal Highness replied in the same 
spirit. — Athenceum, No. 1229. 

The Jermyn -street, or entrance-front of the Museum, is engraved 
as the vignette of the Year-booh of Facts, 1848. 



GOVERNMENT SCHOOL OF MINES AND OF SCIENCE APPLIED TO 
THE ARTS. 

On Nov. 7, 1851, the active labours of those connected with the above 
institution commenced : — an inaugural address being delivered by Sir 
Henry de la Beche, Director-General of the Geological Survey and of 
the Museum of Practical Geology, to a numerous auditory. The 
general bearing of this address was in favour of the extension of a 
system of Industrial Education : — for which the Museum of Practical 
Geology, with its extensive and constantly increasing collections, was 
shown to be peculiarly adapted. Its examples of natural mineral pro- 
duce and of manufactures therefrom were stated to be now very ex- 
tensive ; — and it was shown how all these could be made available 
with advantage under the educational guidance of the respective pro- 
fessors. The advantages of a scientific education to all who are likely 
to be engaged in the industrial arts was strongly insisted on by Sir 
Hemy de la Beche ; and numerous instances were given of serious 
losses and failures arising from the want of that kind of knowledge 
which is intended to be conveyed in this institution. — Athenceum, 
No. 1255. 



OUTLINES OF CONTINENTS NOT FIXED. 

The outlines of Continents are not to be considered as fixed, 
immovable limits, but are variable, and dependent upon the degree 
of elevation above the level of the sea. For instance, were we to depress 
certain parts of South America, or of the United States, even for a 
few feet, their outlines would be entirely changed, and immense 
tracts submerged, and vice versd, a slight elevation would produce 
corresponding changes. 

The west of Asia, comprising Palestine and the country about 
Ararat and the Caspian Sea, &c, is below the level of the ocean, 
and a rent in the mountain chains by which it is surrounded would 
transform it into a vast gulf. 

Continents are in fact only a patchwork formed by the emergence 
and subsidence of land. These processes are still going on in various 
parts of the globe. "Where the shores of the continent are abrupt 
and high, the effect produced may be slight; as in Norway and 
Sweden, where a gradual elevation is now going on without much 
alteration of their outlines. But if the continent of North America 
were to be depressed a thousand feet, nothing would remain of it 
except a few islands; and any elevation would add vast tracts to its 
shores. — Agassiz on Lake Superior, p. 96. 



ON THE ERRATICS OF CANADA, BY DR. BIGSBY. 

A LARGE proportion of this paper is occupied with an elaborate 



234 YEAE-BOOK OF FACTS. 

description of the erratic boulders and other superficial detritus 
occurring about the Canadian lakes and certain parts of South Hudson 
Bay, and of the particular directions in which the different groups of 
detritus have been dispersed. The author observes, that with regard 
to the "loose detritus" of the great lakes, one kind, the "distant 
erratics," have everywhere such similar conditions and relations, 
and their presence or range is so extensive, that the pro- 
ducing agency must have been proportionally extensive, and 
probably of long continuance : — such as loaded icebergs travelling 
from the north, — or an earthquake sea- wave followed by submergence. 
Another class, ** the home or lake erratics," are perhaps the products 
of causes now in operation — such as frost and thaws, freshets and 
storms. In all the lakes, at least in-shore, large fields of ice are 
formed, which entangle earthy materials of all sizes, and transport 
them here and there. The paper concludes with observations on the 
"native erratics" and "imbedded debris," and on the extensive 
terraces observable throughout the Canadasand the N. and W. parts 
of the United States. — Proceedings of the Geological Society. 



GEOLOGY OF ASIA MINOK. 

In a sketch of his exploration of Asia Minor, given at the late 
meeting of the British Association at Ipswich, M. Pierre Tchihatchef 
enumerated many phenomena and data hitherto unknown concerning 
the topography, meteorology, and botany of that region, particularly 
in reference to Mont Argseus and the tracts around it. Among 
several geological results, the most important may be considered the 
clear distinction which that author has worked out in the last two 
years between the uppermost secondary or cretaceous limestones 
with their Inocerami and Hippurites, and the lower tertiary with 
their Nummulites and numerous Eocene fossils. Formerly, M. 
Tchihatchef considered these functions to be united in one natural 
group, because they chiefly consist of white limestones in conformable 
opposition; but he has now adopted the views established by the 
generalization of Sir R. I. Murchison in his work on the Alps and 
Apennines, wherein this essential distinction is not only shown to 
prevail through Southern Europe, but is extended by him (through 
the labours of others) to distant parts of Asia. He indeed, antici- 
pated that it would be found to be the case in Asia Minor, — and the 
researches of M. Tchihatchef have confirmed his views. — Athenceum, 
No. 1237. 



GEOLOGY OF THE HIMALAYA MOUNTAINS. 

Capt. R. Strachey, in a general view of the Geology of these 
regions, shows that from the Siwalik range, which was before known 
to be of tertiary age, the mountains are formed of metamorphic rocks, 
until we pass the line of greater elevation. We then find fossiliferous 
rocks, which form a regular sequence from the lower Silurian to the 
tertiary formation. Fossils from all these beds have been collected, 
and brought to England by Capt. Strachey. It is of the tertiary bed, 



GEOLOGY. 235 

that the great plain is composed, and in them have been found fossil- 
ized remains of elephant and rhinoceros, at an elevation of between 
14,000 and 15,000 feet above the sea. From a general consideration 
of these circumstances, it is inferred that the present wonderful 
development of the Himalaya, and of the elevated regions of Tibet, 
dates no further back than the tertiary period ; being, in fact, one of 
the most recent changes that the surface of the earth has undergone. 
— Proceedings of the British Association, 1851. 



THE BAVARIAN ALPS. 

A paper has been communicated to the British Association "On 
Klinology in reference to the Bavarian Alps," by Dr. Schafhaeutl. 
The Alps surpass all other European mountains both in grandeur and 
in complexity of geological structure. Their central ranges consist 
chiefly of crystalline and metamorphic rocks, their borders of sedi- 
mentary strata ; some of the newest of these strata have the greatest 
breadth, elevation, and mass, attaining a height of 10,000 feet above 
the sea. Fossils are often very scarce ; and when they do occur, 
those of several formations have become mixed together, on account 
of the frequent repetition of the formation by mechanical displace- 
ment. Dr. Schafhaeutl recommends the study of the intimate struc- 
ture of the beds, — a mode of investigation which he terms "Klino- 
logy." It has long been admitted that the newer rocks have gene- 
rally a lower specific gravity, and are less compact or crystalline 
than the older strata ; and the remarks of Ehrenberg have shown 
that the microscope may be employed to detect minute structural 
as well as organic peculiarities. Even by placing rock specimens in 
distilled water, outlines and designs may be brought out which were 
before invisible ; and still more may be learned by the application of 
hydrochloric aid, or by studying weathered surfaces. As examples 
of the importance of attending to minute characters, the author 
mentioned that the red sandstone of Berchtesgaden had been consi- 
dered the equivalent of the old red schists of Salzburg ; but he had 
detected the existence of green particles in this sandstone, and had 
traced them to a distance increasing in numbers until the red sand- 
stone became green, and was clearly recognizable as a lower mem- 
ber of the Cretaceous group. In a similar manner, he had ascer- 
tained that the black, lias-like schist of the Beseler, in the western 
Bavarian Alps, was also "greensand." Microscopic fragments of 
characteristic shells, like the Caprotina, had been found by him 
where entire specimens were wanting ; and in some of the lofty 
Alpine limestones, which are destitute of fossils, he had detected 
microscopic remains which showed their origin, like that of the chalk 
formation, to have been intimately connected with "the wide-spread 
and powerful- working spirit of life developing itself in forms invisible 
to the unassisted eye." — Athenieum, No. 1237. 



236 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

THE GLACIAL PERIOD. — SCOTLAND. 

The following papers have been communicated to the British Asso- 
ciation, upon this interesting inquiry : — 

"On the Drift and Surfaces of Rocks on the Coast of Scotland," 
by Sir R. I. Murchison. The rocks on the coast of Loch Fyne, near 
Inverary were described as being worn and striated on their north- 
east face and rugged on the opposite side ; the strise were in a direc- 
tion parallel with the Loch, and sometimes ten or fifteen feet long. 
They were particularly observed near the fishing- village of Kenmore, 
where the rocks of chlorite schist were smoothed and striated on 
the surfaces away from the sea. Similar observations were made on 
the coast between Ben Cruachan and Oban. Connecting these with 
the phenomena formerly observed on the east coast of Scotland, Sir 
R. I. Murchison was of opinion that Scotland during the glacial period 
had formed a narrow rocky tract penetrated by deep fiords; that 
there might have been glaciers on some points ; but that the worn 
and polished rocks were chiefly to be attributed to the descent of 
masses of gravel and blocks moving down along with great debacles 
of ice and snow on the successive upheavals of the region in an 
icy sea. 

Mr. Hopkins exhibited a map of the lochs and mountains around 
Ben Cruachan, with the distribution of the trains of granite blocks 
which he had described last year, at the Edinburgh meeting. He 
had formerly been unable to explain by what means the granite 
blocks supposed to have been derived from Ben Cruachan had crossed 
the mountain group between Loch Fyne and Loch Lomond, so as to 
gain access to the latter, and form a stream extending to the Clyde 
and Glasgow. Since then, he had discovered in this very mountain 
group, a granitic tract not marked on the geological maps, in the 
immediate vicinity of Loch Sloy, at a beight of from 1500 to 2000 
feet, and agreeing in mineral character with these travelled blocks, 
which may, therefore have descended Loch Long and Loch Lomond 
with the same facility that the granite blocks of Ben Cruachan have 
entered Loch Aure, and those of Loch Etive have reached Oban and 
Kerrara. Mr. Hopkins then referred to the possible causes of the 
dispersion of the granite blocks : if by currents from the sea, then 
the country must have been depressed nearly 2000 feet, as Wales is 
believed to have been about the same period; if transported by 
floating ice, independently of glaciers, then also the country must 
have had a lower level; terrestrial glaciers might also have been 
the agents, if their existence was allowed. The position of the blocks 
in horizontal streams along the sides of the lochs, at an elevation of 
four of five hundred feet, and their character — being at first large and 
angular, but becoming smaller and more rounded, until they were 
mere water- worn pebbles — were circumstances opposed to the suppo- 
sition that floating ice or terrestrial glaciers were the principal agents 
in their removal. If floating ice had been the cause, then the sphere 
of dispersion would have been much greater. In Glen Ray he had 
observed indications of what he considered true moraines. He was 



GEOLOGY. 237 

still inclined to believe that more than one of these methods had been 
in operation, and that the whole mass of the Highlands had been the 
centre of divergence from which the blocks had been dispersed. 

The Duke of Argyle referred to Mr. James Smith's observations 
on the shores of the Gare Loch, in confirmation of the statement 
that the course of the blocks and striated surfaces was only locally 
uniform, and that it followed the valleys and arms of the sea what- 
ever might be their direction. — Athenceum, No. 1237. 

Dr. Ch. Martins, in a paper communicated to Jameson's Journal, 
No. 100, "Upon the Identity of the Marks of Glacial Action on the 
Rocks in the Environs of Edinburgh, with those observed by the 
Author on the Continent of Europe and in Spitzbergen, " observes 
in conclusion: — 

"The elevation of Scotland since the termination of the glacial 
epoch is not a gratuitous hypothesis, since its coast is fringed with 
sea-beaches covered with shells, which belong to existing species in 
the neighbouring seas, and the shells of which Mr. Prestwich has 
found near Glasgow at an elevation of 320 feet above the ocean. 
It is since these observations were repeated by Mr. J. Smith, that it 
has been found that these shell-banks are always placed above the 
clay and the arctic shells. 

"In recapitulation, I remark, that the glacier traces in the neigh- 
bourhood of Edinburgh appear explicable by the following succession 
of phenomena. 1st. By the ancient existence of glaciers, which 
descended from the mountains to the sea-shore.* 2nd. The partial 
ton of the country during the glacial epoch. 3rd. The sub- 
sequent emeriMM at the close of this epoch. Hence the existence of 
striated rocks, of glacier mud, of streaked pebbles, of arctic shells, 
and of raised beaches covered with existing shells. 

" If this attempt at explanation does not ensure the conviction 
of the reader, I trust that he will at all events concede that I have 
been very moderate in the use of hypothesis. I have compared 
Scotland to a country of an analogous elevation, where the ancient 
extension of glaciers is completely realized ; I have based my expla- 
nation upon the striated rocks, the boulder clays, and the striated peb- 
bles — upon the observation of existing glaciers ; I have demonstrated 
the subsidence during the glacier epoch, by the arctic shells, and the 
emersion after the termination of the cold epoch, by the raised beaches 
covered with modem shells. If, then, I have deceived myself, I need 
fear only as it regards ray deductions, for the observed facts which 
I have invoked have been very often verified by competent observers. 



SLATE ROCKS Or DEVON AND CORNWALL. 

Professor Sedgwick, in a paper communicated to the Geological 
Society, referring to observations previously made, — particularly in 
1830 by Sir 11. I. Murchison and himself, — explained that the sedi- 

* I am delighted to find that, as it repeetfl the turning point of fids expla- 
nation, I am supported by th' 1 Mlthoritj of I' 
and also by Sir Charles Lyell, who stated their view* >. — C. M. 



238 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

mentary rocks of Cornwall and Devon are arranged as follows : — 
1. The culmiferous rocks or culm -measures (equivalent to the coal- 
grits of South Wales), occupying a wide extent of North Devon, form 
a trough, the parallel sides of which extend from Hartland Point to 
beyond Bampton, on the north, and from Lesnewth to the south of 
Exeter, on the south ; interrupted, however, on this southern edge by 
the great gigantic mass of Dartmoor. 2. The calcareous slates of 
Barnstaple and the sandstones of Marwood and Baggy Point underlie 
the culm-measures on the north, and are represented along the south 
edge of the culm-rocks by the limestone and fossiliferous slates of 
Petherwin, and, forming with the latter the "Barnstaple or Petherwin 
Group," constitute the upper part of the "Devonian system." These 
appear to be the equivalents of the " carboniferous slates" of the 
south of Ireland. 3. The "Dartmouth group," or Middle Devonian, 
appear on the north as the unfossiliferous slates and coarse greywacke 
of* Morte Bay, and on the south of the culm-trough as the unfos- 
siliferous slates of the Dartmouth district. 4. The oldest or " Ply- 
mouth group" of the Devonian series is well marked on the north by 
the limestones and sandstones of Linton and the north coast ; and on 
the south by the fossiliferous slate rocks of the " Liskeard group," 
and the limestones and sandstones of the Plymouth district. These 
rocks, although greatly mineralized and distorted by the extensive 
granitic bosses of Devon and Cornwall, exhibit in both counties con- 
siderable symmetry in their arrangement with respect to each other 
and to the granitic rocks, — generally dipping from the protruding 
granite symmetrically, and, when free from the disturbing influence 
of the latter, exhibiting an approximate parallelism of strike, — 
The author, in continuation, states that the " Plymouth group" ranges 
on the south-east coast of Cornwall; the "Dartmouth group" 
through the central region; and the "Petherwin group" along the 
north-west coast of the county. The author next proceeded to 
describe a series of slaty rocks to the south of the granitic boss north 
of St. Austell, and occupying Dodman Point and Nare Head. These 
rocks afford fossils of the Lower Silurian (Cambrian) age, as lately 
noticed by Sir R. I. Murchison. These strata, having a general 
southerly dip and a strike N.N.E., S.S.W., appear to overlie the 
Devonian slates of Veryan. This position, however, the Professor 
considers to be probably due to the disturbing influence of an axis of 
elevation parallel with the south coast, which has either inverted 
these older rocks, or brought them into their actual position by the 
intervention of an enormous up-cast fault. The author concludes by 
observing that probably the altered slates near the Lizard and the 
metamorphic slates at Bolt Head might be regarded as indications of 
ancient strata formerly existing about the site of these promontories. 
Deposits of Silurian or Cambrian age appear to have had a limited 
extent only, as indicated by the local series referred to above, for 
there are no traces of Upper Silurian rocks on the south-west coast of 
Cornwall. The three great groups of the Devonian series successively 
followed, and subsequently formed an elevated tract of land, on which 



GEOLOGY. 239 

grew the ancient Flora, now represented by the fossil plants of the 
culm -measures that repose on the Devonian rocks. After which came 
the period when the great granitic axis was elevated, disturbing with 
its three protruding masses of St. Austell, Bodmin, and Dartmoor, 
the Devonian and culmiferous rocks along the southern edge of tbe 
latter. Contemporaneously with this, another axis elevated the cor- 
responding rocks along the northern edge of the culm series. Lastly, 
we have indications of a third elevatory axis, probably coeval with 
the former two, ranging along the south coast of Devonshire and 
Cornwall, and previously noticed as being probably connected with 
the elevation of the Cambrian or older Silurian rocks of Dodman 
Point and Nare Head. 



GEOLOGY OF WESTMORELAND AND YORKSHIRE. 

A paper has been read to the Geological Society "On the Pennine 
and Craven Faults, and on some of the Palaaozoic Rocks of West- 
moreland and Yorkshire; by the Rev. A. Sedgwick." This paper 
commenced with a general account of the direction and characters of 
the two great faults or breaks known to geologists as the Pennine 
and Craven Faults, which intersect one another near Borrodale and 
Stanemoor; stress being laid on the complicated nature of the dis- 
turbances along the "carboniferous" chains, at the bases of which 
these great breaks occur. Both faults were produced near the end 
of the "Palaeozoic" period ; but the fact of the magnesian conglo- 
merate, near Brough, having been tilted by the action of the Pennine 
fault, in the same manner as the carboniferous beds on which they 
rest, whilst the same conglomerates, near Kirby Stephen, rest almost 
horizontally on the edge of the beds which have been tilted by the 
action of the Craven fault, shows that they were not strictly contem- 
poraneous, the Craven fault being the older of the two. The older 
rocks were solidified and elevated before the existence of the carbo • 
niferous limestone, and before the epochs of the Craven and Pen- 
nine faults. These lines of fault were probably not so much 
produced by well-defined axes of elevation, as by unequal pres- 
sure, caused by a very uneven surface of the old strata, urged 
upwards by new forces of elevation, not acting on single lines, 
but affecting large tracts of country at the same moment. It is to 
be remarked that the breaks of the carboniferous strata along these 
lines of fault do not always appear to pass downwards into the Cam- 
brian and Silurian strata on which the carboniferous mountains rest. 
The carboniferous limestone of this district (exhibiting considerable 
variations of mineralogical character, and at Smardale Beck contain- 
ing a broad intercalated band of ripple-marked red sandstone of 
great interest) appears to have been deposited partly over and partly 
abutting against an ancient ridge, formed of the contorted and elevated 
older rock (and partly, perhaps, subaerial, partly submarine), 
striking nearly in the actual direction of the Craven fault. Hence, 
at a subsequent period of elevation, this ancient ridge may not only 
have mechanically produced the fractures of the Craven fault, but 



240 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

also defined its direction. The older rocks, however, were probably 
lvnt Mundsr in many places along the lines of duBturbaaee which 

produced this taulL; KM some of its great cross-fractures have affected 
the old, T rocks ;is niiuli as the overlying carboniferous beds, giving 
rise to a series of lateral valleys, — such as those on both sides of 
Ingleborough and those between Clapham and Horton in Ribhles- 
dale : — and it is to these lateral valleys that we owe our know- 
ledge of the series of old and highly inclined rocks that form the 
base of the carboniferous chain. From the detailed account of 
several sections thus obtained, it appears that the Coniston lime- 
stone and Coniston flagstone, which form the base of the fossili- 
ferous slates of Westmoreland, may be clearly traced from Raven- 
stonedale through the upper part of the Rother, across the valley 
of the Dent, and again from ravines above Ingleton to Horton in 
Ribblesdale. This conclusion is based both on the mineral character 
of the several groups, and on their fossils. Finally, the author 
states he now returns to his first published opinion : viz., the Conis- 
ton limestone is the equivalent of the Bala limestone, and not of 
the Caradoc sandstone ; but this question, as well as some other 
points of classification and nomenclature, he reserves for a future 
communication. — Athenceum, No. 1259. 



THE CRAG AND LONDON CLAY. 

A PAPER has been communicated to the British Association " On the 
Mechanical Structure of the Crag and London Clay," by J. Phillips, 
Esq. The substratum of the country around Ipswich was stated 
to be chalk, covered by thin beds of clay and sand with pebbles ; 
this again by brown clay with courses of cement stone (septarium), 
and finally by the crag formation. The clay forms both banks of the 
Orwell, and the base of the cliffs at Walton and Felixstow. In the 
cliff at Felixstow, Mr. Phillips had discovered nine dislocations, or 
faults, within the space of half a mile ; the first four were down- 
throws to the north, the rest upthrows. They all obeyed the law of 
dislocations, the subsidence being on the inclined side of each fault. 
He had not been able to trace these faults into the crag, which could 
only be done by cutting away the face of the cliff afresh. Some dis- 
locations had, however, been discovered in the red crag on the north 
bank of the Orwell, about two miles from Ipswich. The lower or 
coralline crag was compared by Mr. Phillips to the drifted coral de- 
posit of the Bermudas. The red crag he believed to be almost 
entirely of drift origin : the univalve shells were worn, the bivalves 
separated ; the shark's teeth, the pebbles, and the " coprolites " all 
showed signs of rolling. The laminae of sand were seldom level, but 
inclined and curved, indicating a great variety of current action in 
different directions, and giving the formation the aspect of an ancient 
sea-shore. Prof. Phillips confirmed a statement which had been 
made to the effect that the bivalve shells generally lay with their 
concavities downwards ; but he was unable to support the opinions 



GEOLOGY. 241 

which had been offered with respect to the principal direction of the 
supposed currents. 

TUBULAR CAVITIES IX THE CORALLINE CRAG. 

A paper has been read to the British Association "On some 
Tubular Cavities in the Coralline Crag at Sudbourn and Gedgrave, 
near Orford," by Searles V. Wood, Esq. The tubular cavities at 
Sudbourn occur in a quarry close to the gate which leads to the 
mansion of the Marquis of Hertford ; nine of them are visible within 
a space of twenty yards, and they are all vertical and nearly of the 
same size, being 18 or 20 inches in diameter, and 12 or 14 feet deep, 
their lower termination being unknown. In the Gedgrave pit, about 
a mile off, eleven more of these perforations may be seen. The crag 
is near a complete coral bank in its upper part, and so hard that the 
tower of Chillesford Church is principally built of it ; the lower part 
of the crag is shelly and loose; its entire thickness is probably not 
more than twenty feet. The tubes have been half removed by 
quarrying, and are emptied of their contents ; their surfaces are quite 
smooth, the large masses of coral being cut through, as if by a boring 
implement. The writer terms these cavities " chimney pipes," and 
attributes them to the chemical action of carbonic acid gas, produced 
in the subjacent clay deposit, whilst the crag was still beneath the 
sea. The regular cylindrical form of the pipes and the smoothness 
of their interior were considered as objections to any mechanical ex- 
planation of their origin. Another class of cavities, termed "funnel 
pipes," are very numerous in the surface of the coralline crag in the 
same district ; these are not more than 3 or 4 feet deep, and 12 or 18 
inches in diameter above ; they have an irregular form, and terminate 
below in a point. These cavities are filled with gravel, in which not 
a fragment of a shell or a trace of carbonate of lime can be detected. 
They were attributed to the gradual progress of a chemical agent, 
acting from above, — and compared to the "sand pipes" or "puits 
naturels," common in the chalk of England and France, and de- 
scribed by Sir C. Lyell, Mr. Trimmer, and other geologists. 

M. Constant Prevost objected to the chemical explanation of the 
origin of the pipes, that in France they were found passing through 
marls, clays and gypsum, as well as calcareous strata, and even in 
some instances through mica-schist. Sir C. Lyell called attention to 
the time at which cavities of this kind appeared to have been formed ; 
those in the chalk were partly of Eocene date, and filled with sand 
and clays of that period, — others of more recent origin were filled 
with crag. He had attributed them to the action of water charged 
with carbonic acid, and percolating from above, because there was no 
calcareous matter present in the tubes, and in some instances the 
horizontal courses of chalk flints were found projecting from the 
walls of the tubes, or completely forming a bridge across. Irregular 
and unaltered chalk flints were occasionally found in the tubes, which 
appear to have quietly subsided as the chalk was dissolved and re- 
moved. The formation of the pipes might still be in progress, as sub- 



242 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

sidences were known to take place in the gravel overlying the chalk ; 
a case of this kind had been noticed by Mr. Darwin at Down, near 
Bromley, in which a pond was formed by the sinking of the ground. 
Sir EL M la Beoha was willing to believe that tubular cavities might 
be formed both by the descent of acidulous water from above and the 
escape of acid gas rising up through fissures from below: — only in the 
latter case, the source of the chemical agent was more difficult to 
account for. The same agency would produce cavities in foUfapathifl 
rocks as well as in limestones ; for the action of rain-water on granitic 
rocks was the source of the beds of porcelain clay. Prof. Phillips 
stated that the "swallow-holes" in the north of England were con- 
fined to the limestone ranges, and might have been formed by the 
percolation of water containing sulphuric or carbonic acid through 
small fissures, which gradually became enlarged. At Claydon, four 
miles north of Ipswich, the chalk might be seen, with its surface 
deeply furrowed, and the superincumbent sand and gravel forming 
layers accommodated to the form of the surface ; these furrows might 
have been formed by mechanical means, by currents propelling 
pebbles and whirling them round, as suggested by Mr. Trimmer. — 
AtheiKeum, No. 1236. 



ECHINODERMATA OF THE CRAG. 

These fossils, amounting to twenty species, are mostly obtained 
from the coralline crag. They consist of two new comatula?, not re- 
lated to the existing British, but to Indian species; a unique specimen 
of a star-fish from the Red Crag, identical with the recent Uraster 
rubens; four Echini, of which one is the common British species, 
E. sphera; three species of Temnopleurus, — a genus not now living in 
the Atlantic, but living in India, where it also occurs fossil ; two spe- 
cies of Echinocyamus, one identical with the British E. pvxillus; 
fragments of an Echinoneus ; two species of Spatangus, one S. pur- 
pureus, the other, S. regina (Gray), of Malta ; a species of Amphi- 
dotus ; and lastly Brissus Scillce, which occurs both living and fossil 
in the Mediterranean, but is properly a tropical Indian form. In 
this assemblage there is a mixture of Celtic with Indian types, and an 
absence of characteristic Lusitanian forms; as if during the crag 
epoch there had existed a communication with the eastern seas but 
a barrier to the south : — a conclusion which would harmonize with 
Mr. Searles Wood's inferences from the shells of this formation. — 
Prof. E. Forbes; Proceedings of the British Association. 

MAMMALIAN REMAINS FROM THE RED CRAG OF SUFFOLK. 

Prof. Owen has exhibited and described to the British Association, 
at Ipswich, a collection of Mammalian Remains from the lied Crag 
of Suffolk, submitted to him by Mr. G. Ransome. The Professor 
commenced by stating that the history of the tertiary period, and 
especially of the crag, had hitherto been deduced chiefly from the 
examination of the fossil shells contained in these formations. But 
since, as animals rise in the scale of nature, the diversity and import- 



GEOLOGY. 243 

ance of their modes of reacting upon surrounding media increase, 
together with their dependence upon external circumstances — the 
higher the class to which a fossil belongs, the greater should be the 
extent of information derivable from it as to the times and circum- 
stances under which the species to which it belonged flourished. It is 
also a general rule that the higher the class to which an animal be- 
longs, the more restricted was its duration in the past time. The 
whole tertiary series is much inferior in the number and thickness of 
its deposits to the secondary series : but whilst the genera Ichthyosau- 
rus and Plesiosmirus range from the lias to the chalk, there is no 
known Mammalian genus which extends through the tertiary system. 
Not fewer than 250 species of shells have been discovered in the red 
crag formation ; but no higher organized fossils had been found asso- 
ciated with them than the teeth of fishes, until, in the year 1839, 
Sir Charles Lyell obtained evidence of a feline animal as lai-ge as a 
leopard, a bear of the size of Ursus priscus, a species of hog, and a 
ruminant. In 1840, Prof. Owen determined the cetaceous character 
of a water-worn tooth obtained by Mr. John Brown from Felixstow; 
and in 1843, Prof. Henslow obtained from the same locality a series of 
ear-bones (petro-tympanics) of whales, for which the term "cetotolites" 
was proposed. Believing these ear-bones and teeth to have belonged 
to the same genus of whales, one in which certain teeth that are 
rudimentarily and transitorily represented in existing true whales 
(Balcenidce) became fully developed and retained, Prof. Owen had 
proposed for them the name of Balcenodon. The discovery of the 
commercial value of the stratum in which these remains occurred has 
since caused it to be extensively quarried and examined. The for- 
mation of a museum of Natural History in Ipswich has been the 
means of bringing together the materials for a much enlarged list of 
the mammalia of the red crag. Prof. Owen concluded his Report by 
inquiring whether the remains of the mastodon and rhinoceros had 
not been washed out of some miocene or older pliocene formation; 
while the horse, megaceros, bear, wolf, &c. belonged to the newer 
pliocene period. Prof. Owen also stated, in reply to a question, that 
he regarded many of the so-called coprolites of the crag as nothing 
more than bones in various stages of organic degradation ; he had not 
found in any of them the characteristics of true coprolite, namely, 
partially digested fragments of organized substances. Considerable 
discussion arose as to the age and origin of the Mammalian remains. 
Prof. Owen believed most of them to have been derived from an older 
formation, because the teeth were water-worn and had lost their 
fangs, only the enamel-covered crowns remaining. — Athenaium, No. 
1236. 



DESTRUCTION OF TROPICAL FORESTS IN BRITISH INDIA. 

Dr. Cleghorn has communicated to tho British Association, a 
" Report on the Physical and Boonomical Effects of the Destruction 
of Tropical Forests in British India," by (he Committee appointed for 
the investigation. The general conclusions which appear to the 

r2 



244 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

Committee to be warranted by the various statements of fact and 
opinion, maybe summed up as follows: — 1, That over large portions 
of the Indian empire there is at present an almost uncontrolled 
destruction of the indigenous forests in progress, by the cait.lt 
habits of the native population. 2, That in Malabar, Tenasserim, 
and Scinde, where supervision is exercised, considerable improvement 
has already taken place in the forests. 3, That these improvements 
may be extended by a rigid enforcement of the present regulations, 
and the enactment of additional provisions of the following cha- 
racter, — viz., careful maintenance of the forests by the plantation of 
seedlings in the place of mature trees removed ; prohibition of cutting 
until trees are well grown, with rare and special exceptions for pecu- 
liar purposes ; in cases of trees yielding gums, resins or other valu- 
able products, that greater care be taken in tapping or notching the 
trees, most serious damage at present resulting from neglect in this 
operation. 4, That special care and attention should be given to the 
preservation and maintenance of the forests occupying tracts un- 
suited for culture, whether by reason of altitude or by peculiarities 
of physical structure. 5, That in a country to which the maintenance 
of its water supplies is of such extreme importance, the indiscrimi- 
nate clearance of forests around the localities whence the supplies are 
derived is greatly to be deprecated. 6, That, as much local ignorance 
prevails as to the number and nature of valuable forest products, mea- 
sures should be taken to supply, through the officers in charge, in- 
formation calculated to diminish such ignorance. 7, That, as much 
information which may be of practical utility is contained in the 
manuscript Reports and Proceedings of the late "Plantation Com- 
mittee," it is desirable that the same should, if practicable, be 
abstracted and given to the public. 

Capt. Strachey said he could not agree with those who thought 
that forests had much influence on climate. It was a notion that 
they encouraged rain — but it was more probable that rain was the 
cause of forests. He alluded to districts in India in which the forest 
vegetation was just in proportion to the fall of rain ; being small and 
diminutive where there was little rain, and abundant and gigantic 
where there was much rain. In temperate climates, forests might 
produce an effect — but certainly not in the tropics. With regard to 
the economical question, there could be no doubt that it was foolish 
to destroy what was valuable, but we had not the power to arrest 
the present destruction of forests in India. Mr. Bunbury enumerated 
several instances where forests did not exist and yet there was much 
rain, and others where forests existed and there was little rain. 
Humboldt was our great authority on this subject, and he had 
recorded his opinions of the influence of forests on climate. In many 
districts where forests were cleared and single individuals left, these 
latter soon died from the want of the influence of their neighbours. 
Dr. Lankester pointed out that according to the laws of vegetation 
plants must be supplied with water in a liquid or vaporous form for 
their growth, and that all the facts which had been mentioned, and 



GEOLOGY. 245 

which at first sight appeared opposed to each other, might be 
explained. That forest did not always grow in rainy districts arose 
probably from the waters accumulating and forming morasses in 
which forest-trees would not grow. In districts where there was 
not much rain there might be much moisture in the atmosphere — 
rain, in general, supplied only a very small quantity of the water 
required by plants. Vegetable physiology afforded no explanation 
of the effects on climate attributed by some observers to forests. 

Dr. Cleghorn, in answer to a question from Dr. Lankester, gave a 
short account of the destruction that is now going on in the forests 
of Isonandra gutta, the plant which yields the gutta pertsha. The 
extent of these forests is as yet unknown; but the present pro- 
cess of collecting the gum renders it highly probable that the supply 
of this article may be very considerably diminished. — Athenaeum, 
No. 1238. 



COAL IN AUSTRALIA. 

Mr. Wathen, mining engineer, has communicated to the Royal 
Society of Van Diemen's Land "An account of the Coal Measures 
along the coast, from Western Port to Cape Liptrap in Port Philip." 
" The coal measures," he says, "extend almost uninterruptedly along 
the coast from Griffith's Point, at the east entrance of Western Port, 
to the river Tarwin, a distance of about thirty miles. They consist 
of a series of beds, such as in all parts of the world are associated 
with coal, presenting, however, certain characteristic modifications of 
their own. The upper strata consist of a hard conglomerate grit, 
with a thick bed of reddish -brown sandstone, variegated by veins and 
patches of redder tint. Beneath are a succession of beds of grey 
sandstone, hardened clay, black and blue shales, with seams of coal 
and fire-clay, and a conglomerate of rolled fragments of clay-slate 
cemented together by a silicious paste. Imbedded in this conglo- 
merate are found nodules (not rolled fragments) and irregular beds of 
a hard crystalline rock ; these somewhat resemble in form and 
location, though not in mineral character, the balls and beds of iron- 
stone in the coal-fields of England and Wales. Veins and bunches 
of lignite, and numerous fragments of fossil wood, are also found 
imbedded in the grey sandstone. This sandstone has another pecu 
liarity. Portions of the beds near the surfaces have undergone a 
complete change, and have now a hard and blackened surface and 
fracture, and a prismatic structure, presenting all the appearance of 
the influences of igneous agency. * * * The unchanged sandstone 
lies immediately upon that which has been metamorphosed. * * * 
The hardened sandstone occurs not in continuous beds, but in 
detached patches, which, being better able to resist the erosion of 
the waves, rise above the level of the contiguous rocks, and present 
much the appearance of worn street-paving. The coal measures are 
much heavier and dislocated by trap-dykes and other eruptive rocks. 
* * * The thickest or middle seam, is of first-rate excellence, 



246 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

well fitted for the forge and for domestic use, and abounding with gas 
for lighting." 



BLACK EARTH OF CENTRAL RUSSIA. 

The Tchornoi Zem, or Black Earth of central Russia, covering 
more than 60,000 geographical square miles, and of extreme 
fertility, supporting more than 20,000,000 of souls, and giving rise 
to an annual exportation of about 20,000,000 hectolitres (55,000,000 
bushels) of cereals, was described by Sir R. I. Murchison in 1842, 
{Proc. Geol. Soc, vol. iii., Qeol. Russia, vol. i.) and was considered by 
him to be a submarine deposit, accumulated in quiet water, and 
possibly of nearly the same age as the Loess of the Rhine. M. 
Ehrenberg, on examining this Black Earth under the microscope, 
found in it six forms of Polygastrica, and twenty- two of Phytolitharia ; 
and concludes that it is not an aqueous deposit, but rather a soil 
formed of the debris of ancient forests — an origin hypothetically 
given to this peculiar formation by earlier observers. — Quarterly 
Journal of the Geological Society, No. 27. 



A MOUNTAIN OF MAGNESIA IN CALIFORNIA. 

On Pitch (or Pitt) River, the principal affluent of the Sacramento, 
which flows through a charming valley, about five days' journey 
from Goose Lake, there is a hill of pure Carbonate of Magnesia, 100 
feet high. Much of it is perfectly white, while some is more or less 
discoloured with iron, as if a painter had been striving to give effect 
by a colouring of light and shade. Large masses were easily detached, 
which, rolling down into the river that washed its base, floated off as 
light and buoyant as cork, until it became saturated with water. A 
thousand wagons could be loaded in a very short time, and there is 
enough to supply the whole world. For three days' travel below, the 
soil seems to be impregnated with it, and the banks of the river 
formed of it. — Scientific American. 



PLATINUM OF CALIFORNIA. 

In a letter from J. E. Teschemacher, we are informed that he has 
detected a proportion of Platinum among the grain gold of California, 
that will render it an important object of search in that region. In 
an ounce of the fine grains, he found about 50 granules, which proved 
to be this metal. He observes, that the proportion obtained is about 
as large as from the South American mines. — American Journal of 
Science and Arts, No. 28. 



DISCOVERT OF A NEW METAL. 

In making some experiments with the Wcehlerite and Enkolite, 
from the Zirkon syenite of Brevig in Norway, D. Bergemann separated 
a substance which both in its oxidized state as well as in its com- 
pounds, differed from all the known simple bodies. The name of 
donarium has been assigned to it, after the Teutonic god Donar, the 
northern Thor. — Philosophical Magazine. This mineral was first 
noticed by Dr. Krantz, of Bonn, who has published a description of 



GEOLOGY. 247 

it under the name of Orangite, from orange being its characteristic 
colour. — Jameson's Journal, No. 101. 



"a nut for geologists." 
Hiram de Witt, who has recently returned from California, 
brought with him a piece of the auriferous quartz rock, of about the size 
of a man's fist. On Thanksgiving Day it was brought out for exhibition 
to a friend, when it accidentally dropped upon the floor and split open. 
Near the centre of the mass, was discovered, firmly imbedded in the 
quartz, and slightly corroded, a cut-iron nail, of the size of a sixpenny 
nail. It was entirely straight, and had a perfect head. By whom 
was that nail made ? At what period was it planted in the yet un- 
crystallized quartz ? How came it in California ? If the head of that 
nail could talk, we should know something more of American history 
than we are ever likely to know. — Springfield (U.S.) Republican. 



MINES OP PURE COPPER. 

We gather from the Lake Superior Journal that the Copper-mines 
there yield a produce unequalled in the world. The distinction be- 
tween these mines and all others is that the yield is of the pure 
metal. Every advancing step only demonstrates more clearly that 
this pure lode is not a chance collection ; but is, in fact, increasing 
in purity as well as quantity as the miners proceed. Masses of 
50 tons weight of the unalloyed metal are found together. There 
is a shaft upwards of 400 feet in depth, and a vein followed several 
hundred feet at that depth, and throughout the characteristics of the 
ore are the same. There are several other mines in the neighbourhood : 
one at the beautiful village of the North American Mining Company, 
with a shaft 335 feet, and five levels from 100 to 400 feet long. The 
vein is not near so productive as that of the Cliff, yet the yield is splendid. 



EMERALD MINE IN EGYPT. 

The existence of an Emerald Mine on Mount Zabarah, situated on 
an isle in the Red Sea, has long been known. It was formerly 
worked by the Pacha of Egypt, but the operations were stopped in 
the latter years of the reign of Mehemet Ali. An English company 
have, however, obtained permission to carry on the digging. Their 
engineer, Mr. R. Allen, has discovered at a great depth traces of a 
great gallery, bearing about it evidence of extreme antiquity. Here 
he found ancient instruments and utensils, and a stone with a 
hieroglyphic inscription on it in a great measure destroyed. Belzoni, 
(to whom the world is so much indebted for its knowledge of 
the wonders of Egypt,) was of opinion that this mine had been 
worked by the ancient Egyptians, and this discovery establishes 
the soundness of nil remark. The configuration of the gallery, and 
the nature and shape of the tools (bond in it, it is said, exhibit 
great skill in the meeting. From the inscription on the 

stone, so far as it can be read, it is believed that the labouring in 
the mine of Zabarah ootnmenoed in the reign of the great Sesostris 
living about 1650 before Christ). — Overland Chronicle. 



248 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

TIN-STONE IN WICKLOW. 

Mr. W. Mallet, in a paper "On the Minerals of the Auriferous 
districts of Wicklow," observes : — The principal point, with respect to 
the examination of these minerals, which appears to merit further 
and more particular attention, is the fact of the existence of Tin-stone 
in such considerable quantity in these auriferous streams : a fact 
which would seem to indicate the probable existence somewhere in 
the surrounding district, of masses of the ore of this valuable metal 
of great extent, and possibly forming the continuation, on this side 
of the Channel, of those vast deposits which have contributed to furnish 
occupation and support to the inhabitants of Cornwall for more than 
two thousand years. — Transactions of the Geological Society of Dublin. 



SUPPLY OF WATER FROM THE CHALK STRATUM IN THE NEIGHBOUR- 
HOOD OF LONDON. 

A paper on this subject has been communicated to the Royal 
Society, by Mr. John Dickinson, F.H.S., whose object was to explain 
and illustrate the supply of subterranean water which is always found 
at certain depths in the Chalk Strata ; the circumstances that influ- 
ence its natural overflow by rivers and springs ; the practicability of 
draining off that water by an artificial mode of exhaustion ; and the 
changes that would be produced by carrying such an operation into 
effect on a large scale. 

It is stated that numerous perennial streams issue from the elevated 
ridges of the chalk strata ; those in Kent and Surrey flowing from south 
to north, and those in Buckinghamshire, Herts, and Essex, flowing 
from north to south : and that in each case the dip of the strata cor- 
responds with the face of the country, and the direction of the 
streams. These rivers are considered to be the natural out-flow of 
the rain-water imbibed by the chalk, the accumulation of which, 
as explained by Dr. Buckland, is a subterranean reservoir ; and ac- 
cording to the periodical filling and exhaustion of this, the springs 
and streams alternately decrease and are augmented. The circum- 
stances regulating this change, which have been observed and ex- 
perimented upon by the author during the last forty years, are ex- 
plained in the paper. In the year 1 835, he adopted a method of ascer- 
taining the supply of subterranean water, by the use of a very simple 
but effective instrument, contrived and used by the late Dr. Dalton 
for that purpose ; and he has supplied a series of monthly observa- 
tions, extending over fourteen years, both of the rain falling on the 
surface, and of that which is found to percolate through to a lower 
level for the supply of springs and rivers. 

From his observations — 

Inches. 

The annual average of rain in the north-western part of Herts is 25 - 92 

The average fall of rain in the first six months of the year is 11*92 

The average from July to December inclusive 14-80 

The average in six months, from April to September inclusive 12-17 

The average percolation through the Dalton gauge, from April to Sep- 
tember inclusive, is 0-62 

And from October to the following March inclusive 961 

Total average annual amount of percolation 10-23 



GEOLOGY. 249 

The rivers and springs supplied from the chalk are generally found 
to be in fullest flow about June, and to be most reduced in Decem- 
ber ; and the cause of this variation is considered to be the time that 
the descending rain requires to percolate through the crevices and 
fissures of the lofty chalk hills, and to spread laterally in the reser- 
voirs till it reaches the outlet springs. 

Mr. Dickinson is of opinion, that it is possible to drain off, by arti- 
ficial means, great part of any river flowing out of the chalk ; such 
rivers being truly the natural drain and outlet of the subterranean 
reservoir therein. He shows, by precise measurements, and care- 
fully recorded observations, that the subterranean water has a move- 
ment, with a declivity of 13 feet 6 inches to the mile, in the direction 
of the dip of the strata, and of the fall of the streams ; and he states 
that the crevices or water- channels in the chalk are larger in the 
neighbourhood of a stream. He therefore assumes that if a large and 
deep well were sunk in any such locality, and the water in it, by 
being pumped off by steam-power, were brought down to and kept 
at a lower level, a deep-seated artificial vent being thus formed, — the 
water would be so drained off from the reservoir that the springs 
would be dried up, and the river be partially or entirely deprived of 
its flow of water. 



ORIGIN OF SALT AND SALT LAKES. 

At a meeting of the Boston Society of Natural History, Prof. H. D. 
Rogers has presented a communication on the Origin of Salt and 
Salt Lakes. He thought that there was an intimate connexion be- 
tween the present basins of salt-water and the existing distribution of 
the earth's climates, — a connexion which, fully established, promises 
to afford us, through a tracing of the distribution of the ancient sa- 
liferous deposits, much insight into the climates of the earth in the 
past periods. A sound geological theory teaches, that the original 
source of the salt of the ocean, and of all the salt lakes, is in the 
chlorides of the volcanic minerals and rocks of the earth's crust. The 
action of the descending rain is to decompose these rocks, and to dis- 
solve and float away into the receptacle of the sea, the soluble salts 
which they contain. The geological revolutions shifting at successive 
tim«s the waters of the ocean from their bed, have laid dry a portion 
of the sediments, leaving behind a part of the sea- water to be evapo- 
rated, thus impregnating the strata with its saline ingredients. Thus 
we find that all the marine deposits, however far removed at present 
from any ocean, contain an appreciable quantity of sea-salt. The 
amount of salt in the ocean, if spread over the dry land, would form 
a stratum several feet thick over the whole surface. 

Professor Rogers considers, that all salt basins must have 
been Caspians, seas without outlets, where the dissolved salts hare 
been stored up ; all such seas are more or less saline. As the Caspian 
Sea is eighty-three feet below the level of the Atlantic, it may be 
said of this that it is the salt of the Atlantic, shut off in this basin by 
some surface change, and gradually having become very salt, from 



250 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

concentration, in a contracting basin. But tins cannot explain the 
occurrence of salt lakes several thousand feet above the sea level. 
He thinks the formation of these salt lakes depends on the la-ws of 
climatology. In those zones of the earth's surface where the evapo- 
ration is greater than the fall of rain, and in those only, we find 
such saline lakes. In the west of Europe, the fall of rain is greater 
than the evaporation : in the east the opposite is true ; in the latter 
we find salt lakes and basins. In South America, there is a prevail- 
ing wind from east to west, the moisture of which is stopped by the 
Andes, on whose western side, in Peru and Chili, hardly any rain 
falls ; amid this excessive evaporation we find salt lakes. In the 
southern region of South America, the prevailing wind is from west 
to east ; its moisture is also stopped by the Andes, but by the western 
slope ; hence, on the east, we have the arid planes of Southern 
Patagonia, where are also found salt lakes. The same may be 
noticed in California. The constant drainage of circumjacent dis- 
tricts has been bringing into insulated basins, fresh accessions of 
saline matter, dissolved or leached away from the strata over which 
they flow; while the evaporation under an arid climate, carrying off 
the surplus water, and preventing its flowing on into the general 
ocean, has been the means of accumulating in these receptacles this 
constantly growing supply of salt. By this equilibrium between the 
drainage of a region and the evaporation, the waters become at last 
so strongly impregnated as to deposit or crystallize the salt upon 
their margins. Following up the same general fact of the incessant 
solution of the rocks, we behold in the sea itself a basin like the other 
salt ones, which has no outlet for its surplus supplies, but back again 
by evaporation into the atmosphere. Looking, then, at the primeval 
condition of an atmosphere of aqueous vapour just after the period 
when the earth's general temperature was incompatible with this 
state of water, it was a fresh ocean, and not a salt one. 

Professor Agassiz remarked, that the facts and views xinfolded did, 
as the author said, furnish a new means of interpreting the ancient 
climates of the globe. From the fossil vegetable and animal organic 
remains, geologists have long felt themselves provided with sensitive 
indexes of the past temperatures of the earth at different periods, but 
never until now had they been supplied with a hygrometer. This 
Professor Rogers had furnished. 

In further confirmation of these views, Dr. C. T. Jackson stated, 
that the water of the river Jordan was found, upon evaporation, to 
contain the same ingredients as the Dead Sea into which it flowed. — 
Jameson's Jowmal, No. 101. 



EFFECTS OF PRESSURE ON THE FREEZING OF WATER. 

Prop. Crenon has made some remarks on the experiments of Prof. 
Thomson, and which Professor Thomson believes to show that the 
temperature of congelation of water and other bodies that expand, 
at the moment of solidification, is raised proportionally to the in- 
crease of pressure to which they are subjected, the ratio of tempe- 



GEOLOGY. 251 

rature to pressure being in water, 1'10 of a degree of Fahrenheit's 
scale, in ten additional atmospheric pressures. 

Mr. Crenon has also presented a speculation into which he had 
been led on the subject, showing the effect that such a law might 
produce in causing water to retain the state of a solid, at a very- 
high temperature. For example, if a continuous channel, admitting 
atmospheric communication, should exist in the crust of the earth to 
the depth of seventy miles, the pressure of the atmospheric column 
would exceed fifteen million pounds on the square inch ; and, ac- 
cording to Professor Thomson, water would remain solid at a tempe- 
rature above 10,000° Fahrenheit, a heat far above that of molten iron. 
— Proceedings of the American Phil. Soc, No. 45. 



FACTS OF EARTHQUAKES. 

Mr. Mallet has presented to the British Association his ** Second 
Report on the Facts of Earthquakes;" and stated the result of his 
experiments for the u Determination of the Limits of Earthquake 
Wave Transit," for which the proposed plan was explained last year. 
The rate of transit was expected to be the least rapid in sand, and 
most in some elastic, homogeneous, crystalline rock. Accordingly, 
a mile was measured on the sands near Dublin, and a cask of powder 
buried at one extremity, — the interval between the firing of the 
powder and the indication of the shock at the other station, as re- 
gistered by Wheatstone's chronograph, gave a rate of 965 feet per 
second, as the average of ten good experiments. A shorter base was 
measured on the granite, and shocks produced by borings 3^ inches 
diameter and 18 feet deep, in which as much as 201b. of powder were 
exploded. The experiment was repeated twenty or thirty times, — 
and where the granite was most shattered the shock arrived at the 
rate of only 1299 feet per second; under the most favourable cir- 
cumstances, where the rock was most homogeneous, the impulse 
travelled at 1661 feet per second. In many of the most cele- 
brated earthquakes, clocks have been stopped, and thus indications 
afforded of the rate at which the shocks travelled. In the Lisbon 
earthquake of 1761, the shock travelled to Corunna at the rate of 
1994 feet, to Cork at the rate of 5280 feet, and to Santa Cruz in 
Barbary at 3261 feet per second. The great Cutch earthquake, in 
1819, stopped the clocks in Calcutta, and showed a rate of 1173 feet 
per second. The Nepaul earthquake of 1834 stopped numerous 
chronometers, and the rate of transit from the assumed centre to 
various places showed a rate varying from 1000 to 3000 feet per 
second. These rates were all lower than would be expected, consi- 
dering rocks as homogeneous substances ; and perhaps, after all, the 
earthquake shocks might follow a law altogether different from that 
of sound waves. 

Mr. Mallet then called attention to the catalogue of earthquakes, 
amounting to nearly 6000, and exhibited diagrams in which the 
amount of earthquake disturbance in all known times was repre- 
sented by curved lines ; these showed a slight indication of paroxysmal 



252 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

periods, with intervals of half a century or more. Another diagram, 
representing the months in which the shocks occurred, showed a 
maximum in December and January. Mr. Mallet then exhibited a 
map of the distribution of earthquakes formed by colouring the area 
of each successive earthquake recorded in the catalogue, and one 
wash of colour being carried over another, produced tints of intensity 
proportioned to the frequency of these visitations. On this map the 
regions of Guinea, Abyssinia, and Madagascar were uncoloured, no 
recorded earthquakes having occurred in them ; Greenland was un- 
co] oured, because the slight shocks felt there might have been occa- 
sioned simply by movements of masses of ice upon the coast. Special 
attention was called to one spot in the Atlantic near the Line, and 
midway between Guinea and Brazil ; vessels passing this tract almost 
always experienced shocks, — the soundings were extremely variable, 
some being obtained at 400 fathoms, whilst at very small distances 
the depth was exceedingly great, as if the bottom was by a group of 
volcanic mountains. The connexion between earthquake lines and 
volcanic lines was very apparent on this map ; but some earthquake 
regions; like Central Siberia and a tract extending from India to 
Bohemia, display very little volcanic energy. On a diagram section 
of the globe, the most distant points at which great earthquakes had 
been felt were connected by straight lines ; these showed what very 
large portions of the mass of the earth might have been affected, sup- 
posing the original impulses to have been communicated at very 
great depths. Lastly, Mr. Mallet called attention to the great want 
of bibliographical catalogues in all public libraries, which rendered 
the search after earthquake literature a work of enormous labour. 

Mr. Hopkins remarked that whilst he placed no faith in such indi- 
cations as those of earthquakes being more frequent in the winter, 
they were yet very curious ; and it was not yet known how much 
might be due to the influence of apparently trivial causes. With 
regard to the condition of the interior of the globe, and looking at 
the earthquake map, he was still disposed to lean towards the hypo- 
thesis of the existence of internal lakes of fluid, more or less discon- 
nected, in preference to a fluid central nucleus ; earthquake shocks 
would be propagated to great distances beyond the boundaries of the 
agitated fluid. — Athenceum, No. 1238. 

EARTHQUAKE AT NAPLES. 

An Official Gazette of the two Sicilies gives a detailed account of 
the disasters caused throughout the kingdom of Naples by the Earth- 
quake of the 14th Aug. 1851. The Principato Ulteriore was severely 
visited, particularly in the districts of Carbonara, Lacedonia, Galitri, 
and Monteverde. A.t Bovino, Ascoli, Lucera, and Sanseverio, and 
other places of Capitanata, most of the houses were seriously injured. 
In the province of Bari, the town of Canosa has suffered most : 376 
houses are in a tottering condition : two churches, the town-house, 
and the arch of Diomedes, have been considerably damaged. But 
the scourge was most severely felt in the province of Basilicata, its 



GEOLOGY. 253 

effects being chiefly concentrated around the Vultore, where the 
motion lasted sixty seconds ; and, according to the account, it had 
not quite ceased by last advices. One-half of Venosa had been 
destroyed. At Rionero, fifty- two dead bodies had been dug out of 
ruins on 16th; at Barile 100; and the town of Melfi, containing 
10,000 inhabitants, is a heap of ruins: 700 persons lost their lives 
there, and upwards of 200 are severely bruised and wounded. The 
village of Barile actually disappeared. 

EARTHQUAKE AT VALPARAISO. 

On the 2nd of April, 1851, at six three-quarters A.M., Valparaiso 
was visited by the most severe shock which has been felt since the 
great Earthquake of the year 1822, when Valparaiso was almost 
totally destroyed. 

A severe trembling of the earth of 15 to 20 seconds duration was 
succeeded by less violent shocks, which lasted about 2 minutes ; in that 
short space of time destroyed several dwellings and rendered upwards 
of a hundred untenable ; and had it continued but a few seconds 
longer, there is no doubt that equally disastrous effects would have 
been produced as by the earthquake of 1822. 

The course of the vibration was north and south, but its greatest 
violence was not experienced over any great extent of country. In 
Coquimbo, Copiapo, and other places to the northward it was but 
slightly felt. It was distinctly felt at sea, at the distance of forty 
miles from the coast, and its effects on board the vessels are described 
as being very similar to the grating noise produced by striking on 
a reef of rocks. A hand lead was hove from the American frigate 
Raritan, and was with great difficulty hauled in ; the convulsion at 
the bottom of the sea having caused it to sink three feet in the sand. 
The weather during the morning was sultry and oppressive, but the 
thermometer did not indicate any considerable increase in the tem- 
perature of the atmosphere. 

The motion of the earth was observed to be less violent in some 
parts than in others not a hundred yards distant ; so much so, that 
old and decayed houses stood the shock better than others newly 
built, and those houses in the structure of which the most timber had 
been employed, remained with little injury. 

During the eventful 15 seconds, the houses rocked to and fro as 
so many vessels at sea. 

Not a breath of air was perceptible during the whole of the day ; 
slighter shocks continued at G - 4(5 minutes, 6*56 minutes, 8*55 minutes, 
10 - 55 minutes, and continued till the 7th inst. at l| p.m., when a 
short but violent shock drove the panic-stricken inhabitants into the 
streets. 

Few houses in the port suffered much injury, the damage having 
been chiefly confined to the cracking of party walls, plaster work, &c. 

The custom-house buildings suffered comparatively little; some 
slightly constructed outward ornaments were demolished, and part of 
the roof carried along with them, A few houses situated on the 



254 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

hill known as the "maintop" came tumbling down with a crash. 
Along the beach, however, and the Almendral, the ground being less 
firm, upwards of 200 houses were rendered uninhabitable. 

Much damage was done in stores where liquids, glass, earthenware, 
&c, are kept. We are happy to say not a single life was lost. 

On the 4th inst., at 12 o'clock p.m., it began to rain heavily, and 
continued to do so for nearly twelve hours. 

The town of Casa Blanca, about thirty miles from Valparaiso, on 
the Santiago road, suffered severely, and a great number of houses 
were thrown down by the shock. 

The damage done in Santiago, was similar to that in Valparaiso, 
except that a greater number of public buildings were injured. The 
mint, the cathedral, and several churches were more or less damaged, 
and the old palace was completely ruined. 

The village of Renca, in the suburbs of Santiago, was partially de- 
stroyed ; and about three leagues from Santiago, the ground opened 
in several places, and considerable quantities of hot water were thrown 
up. — Official Report. 

ERUPTION OF THE VOLCANO OF MOUNT PELEE, IN MARTINIQUE. 

On August 5th and 6th, an eruption of the volcanic mountains at 
Martinique spread consternation over the northern part of the island: — 

" At about seven o'clock on the night of the 5th a strong rumbling noise was 
heard to proceed from the Pel£e Mountain, followed soon after by a loud deto- 
nation and that kind of hissing which would be produced by an immense steam 
generator with the Talve partially open. At the same time a slight shock of 
earthquake was felt at St. Pierre; and, to the great terror of those inhabiting 
the quarters in the neighbourhood of the old volcano, a shower of ashes cam© 
down, scattering a considerable distance around. The houses were everywhere 
abandoned by their inmates, who fled terrified to St. Pierre. The town of 
Precheur was entirely deserted; and the morning opened, showing more 
clearly the columns of smoke which arose at different points of the mountain, 
and all the surrounding woods and plantations covered over with a sort of green 
ashes, and the waters of the river changed into veritable lees. The craters, 
eight in number, presented a surface of muddy boiling water, and with an inter- 
mittent roar, spurting out a thick whitish steam, smelling strongly of sulphur." 

The following observations are by a correspondent oi Les Antilles, who had 
visited the Pelee Mountain immediately after the eruption: — The place was 
everywhere covered with a sort of grey liquid loam of an offensive smell, which 
also laid its wash upon the trunks, branches, and foliage of the circumjacent 
vegetation, even to the most lofty trees, which, thus plastered up, seemed to 
bend down dejectedly towards the side opposite the fine of the volcanic openings. 
Here the sulphurous odour rose with very great intensity, bke the strong smell 
of burnt gunpowder. It is singular the animals of the forest had not entirely 
abandoned this spot of desolation. The first mouth which offers itself to the 
view is the smallest of the number, and the one more easily observed. It is 
like a large caldron, wherein is seen in active ebullition a dark matter of the 
consistency of molasses. We tried to ascertain its temperature by means of 
a small thermometer, but which got broken, and produced no result; yet it may 
be assumed, although the substance in ebullition contained sulphur, that its 
temperature exceeded that of boiling water. On arriving at the place we 
remarked that the articles of silver we had about us were tarnished, and those 
of iron were completely oxydated. The other intermediate openings were from 
four to five feet in diameter. The last that we were able to examine is the most 
important. We found it impossible to ascertain its length, owing to the steam 
ana gas which escaped copiously from it, with a hiss and roar as from a steam- 
engine. Its width may be from 16 to 18 feet. 



GEOLOGY. 255 

VOLCANIC AND TERTIARY STRATA IN THE ISLE OF MULL. 

A paper on this inquiry has been communicated to the British 
Association, by his Grace the Duke of Argyll, F.G.S. A general 
outline of the topographical and mineralogical characters of the 
southern portion of the Isle of Mull having been premised, a detailed 
account of Ardtun Head, with its trap-rocks and leaf-beds, was given. 
This headland, which divides Loch Scridden from Loch Laigh, was 
described by the author as being about 130 feet in height, and con- 
sisting of (in descending order) — 1st, basalt, rudely columnar, 40 feet ; 
2nd, a seam of shale, bearing impressions of the leaves and stems of 
plants, 2 feet ; 3rd, a bed of volcanic ashes or tuff, enclosing chalk- 
flints, 20 feet ; 4th, a shale, rich in impressions of leaves, 2§ feet ; 
5th, a second band of tuff, 7 feet; 6th, a third leaf-bed, 1^ foot; 7th, 
amorphous basalt, 48 feet, — passing into columnar basalt, that rises 
10 feet above the level of low tide. A x-avine on the face of the cliff 
is the only point at which the strata are sufficiently accessible to be 
examined in detail ; and here the beds containing the vegetable im- 
pressions are seen to dip gently towards the south ; and his Grace 
suggested that certain coal-seams, outcropping near the head of 
Loch Laigh, may possibly be the continuation of one or other of these 
leaf-beds, and, if so, affoi'ding an interesting instance of the passage 
of nearly unaltered vegetable matter into the highly-altered mineral, 
coal. The above-mentioned shales contain leaves of the tertiary age, 
which belong to extinct species of existing dycotyledonous families : — 
viz., the Plane, Buckthorn, &c. ; and which necessarily give a clue to 
the age of the accompanying lavas. Leaves, also, of coniferous trees, 
and ferns, and the equisetum, are present. The occurrence of the last- 
named plant tends to prove the former existence at this spot of 
marshy land, — in the still waters of which the leaves of some adjacent 
forest fell autumn after autumn, and where they were accumulated in 
mud-beds, one on another, fully expanded, whole, and unruffled. No 
branches or trunks of trees occur in these deposits. The author then 
proceeded to point out that the district in which these accumulations 
of leaves had taken place, had been twice covered by mud and 
ashes, probably thrown out by a volcano situated at no great dis- 
tance, — that after each of these irruptions of volcanic matter, the 
marshy hollow, in which the leaves had been deposited, continued to 
be sufficiently unchanged in character to receive similar deposits of 
autumnal leaves for long intervals, — but the third eruption must have 
been of a different kind ; sheets of lava having been now poured forth, 
and the configuration of the surface altogether changed. The con- 
clusion of the paper comprised remarks on the probable site of the 
active volcanoes and the extensive forests, that supplied respectively 
the leaves and the lavas of the Ardtun beds; and, in connexion with 
this part of the subject, reference was made to, and descriptions 
given of, the basalt and accompanying lignite beds of the coast of 
Antrim. 



256 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

CAUSE OF THE PHENOMENA OF THE GEYSEES OF ICELAND. 

Mr. Stevenson Macadam, in a paper communicated to Jameson's 
Journal, No. 100, says: — In endeavouring to account for the cause 
of the phenomena in question, I assume that there exists in connec- 
tion with the Geyser, a subterranean chamber of large size, and of 
an oblong shape : the floor of which is of a roundish form, and at a 
temperature of not less than 340° F. At or near the roof there are 
fissures communicating with reservoirs, by which water may be 
allowed to flow into the caverns. The tube which passes from this 
cavity to the surface of the earth, takes its rise from the side of the 
chamber, and very near the lowest part. Without entering into 
details, I assume this tube (as other writers on Geysers have done), 
to be an inverted syphon, the shorter limb of which communicates 
with the chamber, whilst the longer limb forms the exit or emission- 
tube of the Geyser. In the course of events, water finds access by 
the fissures into the cavity, where, from the high temperature of 
the matter it falls upon, it is immediately compelled to assume 
the spheroidal condition, its temperature while in that state being 
205 '7° F. The water gradually accumulates, till at last so much has 
entered the cavity, that the mineral floor can no longer keep the 
liquid in the spheroidal state, the water in consequence touches 
the metallic surface ; its temperature is almost instantly raised to 
212° F. ; and large volumes of steam are generated, producing a force 
quite competent to press the boiling water up through the opening 
prepared by nature for it. Shortly, thereafter, when the whole of 
the water, or at least a considerable portion of it, has been discharged 
through the conduit, and the propelling agent has thus cleared a 
path for itself, the steam escapes in large volumes, with a rushing 
sound more or less violent. The quantity of steam generated, especi- 
ally at the moment of contact between the water and the hot surface, 
easily accounts for the sounds heard, and the force which causes the 
earth to tremble.* 

A glance at the above enumeration of facts, regarding the manner 
of action of water placed in the circumstances mentioned, and which 
can be experimentally demonstrated, will suffice to show the applica- 
bility of those facts to account for the cause of the phenomena 
exhibited by the Geysers. 

Two points, brought forward by different parties, remain to be 
considered. The first is couched in the following terms : — " Though 
it cannot be denied that these springs have some communication 
with the volcanoes which abound in the island, yet it is a remarkable 
fact that they are seldom found very near them."+ The above 
quotation contains information highly favourable to the spheroidal 
theory of the Geysers, for although the immediate presence of volcanoes 

* With regard to the phenomena which happens in the interval between 
the eruptions, the reader is referred to the last paragraph of my memoir 
inserted in the preceding number of this Journal, substituting the word 
*' Geyser" for " volcanic." 

t Eney. Brit. 7th ed. Article Iceland. Vol. xii. p. 146. 



GEOLOGY. 257 

might supply us with the means of accounting for the fissures being 
formed in the upper part of the cavity; yet, during a volcanic erup- 
tion, the neighbouring land is generally so much rent, that it would 
be almost impossible to suppose that the bed of a Geyser could 
remain entirely unfissured, which is so essential to the realization of 
this theory. The second point is, that " Henderson found that, by 
throwing a great quantity of large stones into the pipe at Strockr, 
one of the Geysers, he could bring on an eruption in a few minutes."* 
This is a point of great importance, as it furnishes another proof 
that the spheroidal theory of Geysers is the correct one. For if we 
compel water to assume the spheroidal state, by placing it in a 
heated vessel, and then drop into the latter a small angular fragment 
of any solid substance, we find that the water, which otherwise 
would have been retained in the spheroidal condition, immediately 
wets the surface of the vessel, and begins to be vaporized. 



TKILOBITES OF BOHEMIA. 

In bringing together a vast collection of materials, M. Barrande, a 
native of France, has depended entirely upon his own resources, and 
received no Government assistance. On inquiring of him what was 
his method of collecting, he stated that for ten consecutive years 
he had systematically pursued the same plan, which is characteristic of 
his energy and perseverance. M. Barrande first made a preliminary 
survey of the region which he had resolved to explore, and having 
determined the relative position and outcrop of the various beds, en- 
gaged ten or twelve intelligent workmen, who were taught how to 
search for fossils, and provided with all the necessary tools, including 
magnifying glasses. Under the superintendence of their employer, 
these men proceeded to open and work innumerable quarries, and 
then laboured uninterruptedly for ten years ; and the following state- 
ment will give some idea of the rich harvest which they reaped. The 
Bohemian species of all classes of fossils previously described by 
Sternberg, Boeck, and Zenker, scarcely exceed 20 in number; 
whereas, M. Barrande, during his investigation, procured 1100 species 
from the same area ; probably, the most numerous assemblage of 
palaeozoic remains in the world, and even more valuable, from the per- 
fect state of their preservation, than from their numbers. 

The 1100 species may be divided into the different classes nearly 
as follows: — Crustaceans, chiefly Trilobites, 250 species ; Cephalopoda, 
250 species; Gasteropods and Pteropods, 160 species; Acephala, 130 
species; Brachiopods, 200 species; Corals, &c. 110 species; Total 
1100. — Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society , No. 26. 

THE GREAT SHARK OP THE RED CRAG. 

Mr. Bowerbank has communicated to the British Association, a 
paper 'On the probable Dimensions of the Great Shark (OarchartCU 

* Ly ell's Principles of Geology, 7th ed. p. 531. 



2.".S T1AB-B00X OF FACTS. 

■hii : /(il(>don) of the Red draff.' The teeth of this fish are common in 
the ooprohte l>e<ls of Suffolk; but although exceedingly hard, they 
are usually much water- worn, and have nearly always lost the serrated 
edges which are so well preserved in specimens of the same species 
from Malta. The teeth of the upper jaw may be known from the 
lower teeth by their comparative narrowness and thickness; those 
tV< mi the sides of the jaws are progressively smaller and shorter. The 
largest specimens measure from 4£ to 5 inches in length. In order 
tn give some idea of the magnitude of the creature to which they be- 
longed, Mr. Bowerbank exhibited the jaws of the largest known 
specimen of the Oaroharicu <jla»ca of Australia ; it was killed by a 
whaling crew, when, after having gorged itself on their captain, it 
seized the boat sent in its pursuit. It measured 37 feet in length ; 
its vertical gape is 2o£ inches, its horizontal 20^ inches ; the length 
of its largest teeth 2£ inches. From the measurements it is inferred 
that the fossil shark must have had a gape of at least 5 feet by 6, and 
an entire length of not less than 65 feet. This estimate is not at all 
improbable, as there exists a (comparatively harmless) species — the 
basking shark — in the British seas, of which one individual, killed off 
Brighton, measured 36 feet ; and one which was stranded in the 
Orkneys, and described as a "sea-serpent," exceeded 50 feet in length. 
Looking at the mineral character of these fossils, and their association 
with the teeth of a second Maltese shark (Oxyrhina hastalis), not 
found either in London clay or coralline crag, Mr. Bowerbank was in- 
clined to regard them as having been derived from the destruction of 
some older clay deposit, perhaps an extension of the great miocene 
formation of southern Europe. — Athenceum, No. 1237. 

NEW FOSSILS. 

Professor Owen has described to the British Association, certain 
new Fossil Mammalia from the Eocene freshwater formation at 
Hardwell, Hants. The specimens were from the collection of the 
Marchioness of Hastings, and belonged to the genera Paloplotherium, 
Xiphodon, Dichodon, and Hysenodon. The genus Paloplotherium, 
(Owen) is the link which connects the tapir, rhinoceros, and palaeo- 
there with the hippothere and horse. It differs essentially from the 
Anoplotherium, in having a long interval between the molar and 
canine teeth, and in having the external nostril formed by six bones 
instead of four. From Palaeotherium it differs, in having only six 
molars on each side of the upper jaw. The species (P. amiectans) 
found at Hardwell, also occurs in the lignite formation of Gargas, 
Vaucluse. The genus Dichodon agrees with Anoplotherium, in 
having an uninterrupted series of teeth ; remains of two species 
(D. cuspidatus and dorcas) have been found at Hardwell. Of the 
genus Xiphodon an almost entire lower jaw (distinct from the X. 
gracilis of Cuvier) has been obtained. Also an entire lower jaw of the 
Hysenodon : — a genus " so remarkable amongst the carnivorous order 
for retaining the normal formula of the dentition of monophyodont 
placentals, and for the truly carnassial form of the three true 



GEOLOGY. 259 

molars." The Hardwell specimen agrees with the II. minor of M. 
Gervais, from the lacustrine marls of Asia. 

The following communications have also been made to the Asso- 
ciation : they are selected from the Atkenceum Report: — 

" On the Discovery of Dr. Overweg of Devonian Rocks in North 
Africa," by Professor E. Forbes. This is an announcement of an im- 
portant discovery, made by Dr. Overweg in Fezzan, whence he has sent 
specimens of true Devonian rocks, with fossils, identical with those 
of the Devonians of the Sierra Morena in Spain. No palseozoic 
rocks have hitherto been discovered in Africa, north of the Line ; 
and this new fact may probably prove of consequence in explain- 
ing the physical and organic peculiarities of Africa; and, taken in 
connexion with the fact of the existence of Devonian rocks in the 
Cape region, may indicate a palaeozoic axis running north and south, 
through that continent. 

' On the Remains of a Gigantic Bird, from the London Clay of 
Sheppy," by Mr. J. P. Bowerbank. The specimen described is a 
fragments of one of the bones of extremities ; it is 4 inches long 
an I 1 inch in diameter at the larger end, and is somewhat three- 
sided, with rounded angles. The thickness of its walls is from f of 
a line to If line ; its microscopic structure exhibits the character- 
istic bone-cells of animals of the bird tribe. 

" On the Pterodactyles of the Chalk Formation," by Mr. Bower- 
bank. The author has exhibited drawings and rest orations of 
remains of these winged reptiles, showing that the great species 
of the chalk (P. Cuvieri) must have had a spread of wing equal 
to 16 feet 6 inches; whilst a second large species (P. compress •iros- 
<m) was estimated at 15 feet. The largest species previously well 
known, the P. uutnoinjx of Buckland, from the lias, was only com- 
puted at *l\ inches from tip to tip of its expanded wings. 

" On the Silurian Fossils of Canada," by Mr. J. W. Salter. — Lower 
Silurian, Allumette Island. These are regarded as forming one 
group, intermediate between the Potsdam sandstone and the Hudson 
river series, and agreeing with the Trenton limestone of New York. 

Mr. Logan exhibited the slab of Potsdam sandstone, with tracks 
like those of a tortoise, which is regarded by Professor Owen as 
proving the existence of an air-breathing four-footed animal, at the 
very earliest period of known animal life. 

Professor E. Forbes exhibited the new species of Maclurea, referred 
to by Mr. Salter, and its operculum ; and stated that he regarded it 
as one of the floating forms which appear to have been common in 
the Silurian period. The shell, however, is described by Mr. Salter 
as " strong and massive," and in appearance it is extremely like the 
English Caprotina Lo7isdalii. Its operculum is still more like the 
smaller valve of an Exogyra, and is furnished internally with a strong 
tooth-like process, and a second roughened prominence. It has a 
minute umbilicus on the riyht side, whilst the broad flat whorts are 
exposed on the left. — Athenanun, No. 1237. 

The Rev. J. Gunn exhibited the Femur of a gigantic Fossil Ele- 
82 



260 TEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

phant, dug up on the beach at Bacton. It is the shaft only, without 
the epiphyses, of a full-grown but not aged individual, and measures 
four feet in length ; by placing with it articulating extremities of 
corresponding size, from the same formation, the complete femur is 
shown to have been five feet in length. The head of another femur, 
from Mr. Gunn's collection, was obviously too large to have belonged 
even to this magnificent specimen. Another entire femur of an aged 
elephant, dredged up off Yarmouth, was only 3 feet 4 inches long, 
but still indicated an animal equal in size with the largest living 
Indian elephants. With respect to the species of elephant to which 
these remains belonged, Mr. Gunn exhibited molar teeth obtained 
from the same localities, showing that the gigantic species was most 
probably the Elephas meridionalis of Nesti, whose remains are found 
in the pliocene formations of the south of Europe ; and whose exist- 
ence as a characteristic fossil of the British crag, and its equivalent 
freshwater deposit at Grays, had been fully determined by Dr. Fal- 
coner, and confirmed by the observations of Mr. Waterhouse. The 
smaller species appeared to be identical with the mammoth, or Arctic 
elephant of Siberia, whose tusks are remarkable for their double cur- 
vature, and the grinding teeth for the great number of enamel plates. 
The bones of this animal are always much less mineralized than 
those of the older species ; they have been found over all Northern 
Europe, they are dredged in many parts of the British Channel, and 
occur in some of the caves. They are closely connected with the 
strata containing spruce fir-cones at Bacton, and with those newest 
beds containing Arctic sea-shells and other indications of a colder 
climate. 

Mr. C. B. Rose exhibited the Antler of a Reindeer, found by 
Captain Alexander below the cliff near South wold, and probably 
derived from the glacial deposits of which the upper part of those cliffs 
is formed. As it was the first occurrence of the animal in Suffolk, 
he presented the specimen to the Ipswich Museum. He also showed 
a very small, recent-looking antler of a fallow-deer obtained from a 
fen at Roydon, near Diss. It was found at the depth of eight or ten 
feet, associated with remains of the red-deer, roebuck, and ox. Mr. 
Rose quoted the opinion of Dr. Fleming, that the fallow-deer was a 
native of Britain ; * in which he was supported by Mr. Strickland, — 
who remarked, also, that the rein-deer had been found with the 
Irish elk in the marl under a peat bog on the coast of Holderness. 

Mr. Ramsay stated that Mr. Oldham had found the rein-deer 
under the same circumstances in Ireland. Mr. J. Brown, of Stan- 
way, stated that he had a bone of the rein-deer from Essex ; and 
that the beaver of the old lacustrine formations of the eastern 
counties (referred to by some previous speakers as identical with the 
living beaver of Europe) was a distinct species. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Portlock exhibited Fossils collected by Mr. R, 

* The fallow-deer is usually considered to have been introduced from the 
East; it is represented on one of the Nineveh marbles. No unequivocal remains 
have been found fossil in Brita'n. — Athenaeum. 



GEOLOGY. 261 

Rubidge at Sunday River, on the Cape frontier. They consisted of 
marine shells of the genera Ammonites, Gryphsea, Photadomya and 
Trigonia ; and plants of the genera Zamia, Neuropteris, Pecopteris 
and Sphenopteris. The shells were apparently of Jurassic age ; the 
plants, which had been examined by Dr. Harvey, were regarded as 
chiefly resembling those of the coal of Australia. 

Mr. Bunbury stated that the Zamia was eminently characteristic 
of the series included between the Keuper and the Wealden ; the 
others were fossil ferns in such a condition, that nothing short of 
specific identity would be of any value in determining their age. 
The age of the Australian coal-plants was still problematic; but 
they had been regarded by Mr. Morris as more nearly resembling 
the oolitic plants of Yorkshire than those of the true coal. 

Mastodon — The New York Daily Tribune records that as some 
workmen were digging in a sort of bog near a small stream in 
the town of Green, Sussex County, New Jersey, they came upon the 
bones of an enormous animal. After a deal of labour they succeeded in 
exhuming a tusk measuring 10 feet in length, and weighing 165 lb. ; 
some teeth weighing over 7 lb. each, 10 inches long, and 28 in cir- 
cumference; and a foreleg or shin bone, measuring 3 feet 6 inches from 
the fetlock joint to the knee. From these specimens the remains are 
presumed to be those of some monster of the Mastodon genus; as it 
is well known that the valley of the Delaware and the tributaries of 
that river were frequented by these animals, and that the finding of 
their bones is quite a common occurrence. The traditions current 
among the Indians who inhabited this region are strong evidence that 
these monsters were at an earlier period well known about the 
Delaware ; and that they suddenly migrated westward, probably to 
the valley of the Ohio, as their bones are often found there. 



IMPRESSIONS OF RAIN-DROPS IN STRATA. 

Sir Charles Lyell, in a paper read to the Royal Institution, 
enlarges on the important inferences deducible from the discovery of 
Rain-prints in rocks of remote antiquity. They confirm the idea3 
entertained of the humid climate of the carboniferous period, the 
forests of which we know were continuous over areas several hun- 
dreds of miles in diameter. The average dimensions of the drops 
indicate showers of ordinary force ; and show that the atmosphere 
corresponded in density as well as in the varying temperature of its 
different currents with that which now invests the globe. The triassic 
hail, moreover, implies that some regions of the atmosphere were at 
this epoch intensely cold; and coupled with the footprints, worm- 
tracks, ripple-marks, and the cast of cracks formed by the drying of 
mud, these impressions of rain clearly point to the existence of sea- 
beaches where tides rose and fell, and therefore lead us to presume 
the joint influence of the moon and sun. Hence we are led on to 
infer that at this ancient era, the earth with its attendant planet wa3 
revolving as now, round the sun, as the centre of our system, which 



262 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

probably belonged then as now to one of tho3e countless clusters of 
stars with which space is filled. 



REPTILIAN FOOTPRINTS IN THE LOWEST SILURIANS. 

Mr. Logan, who has conducted so well the recent geological survey 
of Canada, has collected a series of slabs and casts exhibiting 
impressions of footsteps and trails in the Potsdam sandstone, the 
lowest fossiliferous bed of the Lower Silurian or transition class of 
rocks hitherto reached in America. "We are informed these very 
interesting specimens have been seen and examined by one of the 
most distinguished palaeontologists of this country, who considers them 
as Reptilian; in all probability of an animal allied to Em ps. Tims, 
we have indications of air-breathing vertebrates at the first dawn of 
animal life. — Jameson's Journal, No. 100. 



CURIOUS FOSSIL FERN FROM CAPE BRETON. 

Mr. C. J. F. Bunbury has described to the Geological Society 
this peculiar specimen, exhibiting in its general appearance some re- 
semblance to a Lycopodiaceous plant, bearing leaves proper to that 
genus ; and the fronds of a true fern, regarded by the author as pro- 
bably being a fern with a creeping stem or rhizome, such as Polypo- 
din hi i acu a n ui, P. Iffcopodioidei, &c, so commonly seen in moist tro- 
pical climates, creeping like ivy over mossy rocks and old trunks of 
trees. The detailed description, however, of this interesting form, 
and the comparison of its structure with that of other plants, cannot 
be followed out in the absence of figures. The author noticed the 
interest attached to this fern as being one of the exceedingly few in- 
stances in which fronds are still preserved in their natural relation to 
the stem. Indeed, as a coal fern exhibiting this condition, the spe- 
cimen is perhaps unique. 



LARGE FOSSIL ANNELIDE. 

Mr. W. Adam, during a recent geologizing tour through West 
Yorkshire, found in the collection of Mr. E. Wood, of Richmond, a 
large fossil Annelide. A slab, containing a specimen, had been sent 
to the York Museum, but Professor Phillips would pronounce nothing 
respecting it. as it was deficient in a head of some kind. Subse- 
quently, Mr. Adam visited the quarries near Leyburn, in Wensley- 
dale, and there had the good fortune to find a slab with the head ; 
and he considers it to be a large marine worm exactly like the form 
of the common round worm so well known (Lwmbneus tem 
which seldom exceeds in length eight inches; but the fossil cannot be 
less than six feet in length, judging from the specimens at the quar- 
ries and in Mr. Wood's possession. Some opinions have been ex- 
pressed about its being the vertebrae of a large eel ; but if so, the ver- 
tebras where the worm is violently contorted would have tep at xUed, as 
in the case of all other fossil vertebrae found. The size of this new 
and remarkable fossil worm is about six feet long, and about one inch 
and a half in circumference. It was found in an interpolated mass of 



GEOLOGY. 263 

micaceous and finely laminated sandstone, belonging to the carbo- 
niferous group of the limestone series in Wensleydale ; the quarry is 
situated on the opposite side to that of the long celebrated Leyburn 
Scaur (Shawl), the top of which is one of the finest rocky and lofty 
promenades in England, perhaps in the world. On the brow of the 
first " step " of Penhill, very near to the village of Wensley, the 
quarry is situated, which is now obliged to be mined in consequence 
of the great bearing (or height) of the measures above these beds, 
which, from the quantity of mica prevailing in them are easily di- 
vided by wedges into very thin lamina, forming capital roofing slate : 
in this operation Mr Adam states there did not occur a single slab 
or division but that exhibited some marks of the worm, in some cases 
crossed and grouped together, and apparently so crushed as if de- 
stroyed by some sudden catastrophe ; some occurred quite in the 
young state, about three inches long. Here, too, Mr. Adam found a 
fossil fish of some kind, not hitherto named by geologists, with a kind 
of bulbous head, about a foot long, and contorted in the sandstone ; 
also a new variety of Calamite; and plenty of ° rain -drops," but wliat 
Mr. Adam calls fossil pin us, or fruit, many of which he has found in 
Derbyshire limestone shale. 

Mr. Wood has described his specimen of the Annelide in the 
Naturalist; the above details, by Mr. Adam, are from the Leeds 
J/, rcv/ry. 



VEItTEBKATE AIR-BREATHING LIFE IN THE OLD RED SANDSTONE. 

In the Elgin Courant of October 10th was announced the discovery 
of a fossil reptile in the "Old Red," at Spynie, near Elgin. The spe- 
cimen has been submitted to the examination of Professor Owen, 
from whom has been received the following notice of its nature and 
affinities : — 

" The very remarkable fossil recently discovered in a sandstone of 
the Devonian system of rocks at Elgin, is the impression, in two 
pieces of a grey variety of the old red sandstone, of a long and 
slender four-footed vertebrate animal, four inches and a half in 
length, clearly belonging, by the form, proportions, and positions of 
the scapular and pelvic arches, and their appended limbs, to the rep- 
tilian class. The osseous substance has disappeared ; the cavities in 
the sandstone which contained it remain, stained by a deposit of an 
ochreous tint. The impressions are so well defined as clearly to show 
that there were twenty-six vertebrae between the skull and sacrum, 
two sacral vertebrae, and thirteen caudal vertebra?, before the tail 
disappears by dipping into an unexposed part of the matrix. Im- 
pressions of twenty-one pairs of ribs are preserved, all very slender, 
short where they commence near the head, but rapidly gaining length 
as they are placed further back. The cervical and anterior ribs are 
expanded, but not bifurcate, at their vertebral end : all the ribs arti- 
culate close to the bodies of the vertebrae. In the crocodilian reptiles, 
the anterior ribs are bifurcate, and the posterior ones, with a simple 
head, articulate with long diapophyses. The distinctive characters 



264 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

of the batrachian skeleton are the double occipital condyle; ribs 
wanting, or very short and subequal ; a single sacral vertebra, and 
rib-shaped ilium. The first character cannot be determined, the 
occipital articulation not being preserved in the fossil. Instead of 
the second character, the fossil shows ribs of varied length, and most 
of them much longer than in the salamanders, newts, or any known 
batrachian. With regard to the third character, the impression in 
the old red clearly shows two sacral vertebrae and a short subquadrate 
pelvis. 

Both the humerus and the femur show the lacertian sigmoid shape, 
and near equality of length, which distinguish them alike from the 
crocodilian and batrachian orders ; they are likewise, as in Lizards, 
relatively larger than in the newts and salamanders. Near the im- 
perfect impression of the head may be seen the hollow basis of some 
large, slightly compressed, conical teeth, which also tell for the Sau- 
rian and against the batrachian nature of this ancient reptile. Prof. 
Owen proposes to call it Leptopleuron lacertinum* Many particulars 
of minor import, bearing upon the more immediate affinities of this 
most rare and interesting fossil, have been noted, and will be given, 
with the figures, in the author's " History of British Fossil Reptiles." 
In the meanwhile, Prof. Owen offers the above precis of the main 
characters of the fossil. — Literacy Gazette, No. 1822. 

Dr. Mantell has also read to the Geological Society, a communi- 
cation from Captain Lambart Brickenden, giving an account of the 
discovery in the crystalline yellowish sandstone of the Old Red, near 
Elgin, in Morayshire, of a series of thirty-four footprints of a turtle 
or tortoise, extending across a slab of rock several feet in length ; and 
the subsequent exhumation from the same strata of the remains of 
the skeleton of a small four-footed reptile, of the structure of the 
skeleton of which Dr. Mantell gave a minute anatomical description, 
comparing it with those of recent lizards and salamanders. He stated 
that it resembled in some of its osteological characters the small 
lizards and other batrachians ; and that the original was of peculiar 
type, neither a lacertian nor a salamander, but presenting characters 
found in both orders. It was about six or seven inches in length, 
resembling in its general appearance an aquatic salamander, but with 
a broader back and longer limbs than the common tritons It must 
have been capable of quick progression on the land and in the water. 
It had a wide compressed tail. Unfortunately the skull is crushed, 
and there are no traces of the feet ; so that only the general form and 
appearance of this creature can be determined. This reptile is the 
most ancient being of its class which the researches of geology have 
yet revealed ; and Dr. Mantell has given it a name expressive of its 
remote antiquity, namely, Telerpeton (from rtjXe signifying very 
remote, and tpirzrov reptile), with the specific name Elginense, from 
the locality whence it was obtained. — Illustrated London News, No. 
541 ; wherein this interesting fossil is figured. 

* A€7rT6r, slender, 7rXci»p(W, rib : for this compound we hare the authority of 
" Poikilopleuron," already applied to an extinct genus of Saurians. 



GEOLOGY. 265 

THE MEGATHERIUM. 

Prof. Owen has read to the Royal Society, a memoir, in which, 
having completed the description of the skeleton of the Megatherium 
(illustrated by an extensive series of accurate and highly-finished 
drawings), the author compared the modifications of the osseous 
structure of this gigantic extinct animal with that in other known 
existing and extinct species of the class Mammalia. The Professor 
then ventured upon the question of the habits and food of the mega- 
therium; and next referred to the Mylodon rob ad as, a smaller 
extinct species of the same natural family of phyllopagus Bruta, 
and to the additional arguments derivable from the skeleton of that 
animal in favour of the essential affinity of the megatherium to the 
sloths ; and the light which the remarkable healed fractures of the 
skull of a specimen in the Museum of the College of Surgeons threw 
upon the habits and mode of life of the species. 

Finally, the author shows the hypothesis of the degeneration of 
the ancient Megatheroids of South America into modern sloths, to be 
erroneous. The author offers the following suggestions as more 
applicable to, or explanatory of, the phenomenon than the theory of 
transmutation and degradation. The actual presence of small species 
of animals in countries where the larger species of the same natural 
families formerly existed, is not to be ascribed to any gradual dimi- 
nution of the size of such larger animals; but is the result of circum- 
stances which may be illustrated by the fable of the "oak and the 
reed" — the small animals have bent and accommodated themselves 
to changes under which the larger species have succumbed. 



GLACIERS. 

Prof. J. D. Forbes has communicated to Jameson's Journal, 
No. 99, his Sixteenth Letter on Glaciers, containing — 1. Observa- 
tions on the Movement of the Mer de Glace down to 1850. 2. Ob- 
servations by Balmat, in continuation of those detailed in the 
Fourteenth Letter. 3. On the gradual Passage of Ice into the fluid 
state. 4. Notice of an undescribed Pass of the Alps. 

We have only space to quote from the third head, in confirmation 
of the fundamental hypothesis of the quasi fluidity of the ice of 
glaciers on the great scale. Prof. Forbes cites a fact established by 
a French experimenter, M. Person, who appears not to have had 
even remotely in his mind the theoiy of glaciers, when he announced 
the following, viz : — That ice does not pass abruptly from the solid 
to the fluid state : that it begins to soften at a temperature of 2° 
centigrade below its thawing point: that, consequently between 
28°*4 and 32° of Fahrenheit, ice is actually passing through various 
degrees of plasticity, within narrower limits but in the same manner 
that wax, for example, softens before it melts. M. Person deduces 
this from the examination of the heat requisite to liquify ice at dif- 
ferent temperatures. 

Professor Forbes adds: — "Now it appears very clearly from M. 
Agassiz' thermometrical experiments, and from my own observations, 



266 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

that from 28° to 32° Fahr. is the habitual temperature of the great 
mass of a glacier; that the most rigorous nights propagate an intense 
eold to but a very small depth ; and I am perfectly convinced that in 
the middle and lower regions of glaciers which are habitually satu- 
rated with water in summer, the interior is little, if at all, reduced 
below the freezing point, even by the prolonged cold of winter ; it 
would be contrary to all just theories of the propagation of heat if it 
were otherwise, when we recollect that the enormous mass of snow 
which such glaciers bear during the coldest months of the year, is a 
covering sufficient to prevent profound congelation in common earth; 
and admitting that ice is probably abetter conductor of heat than the 
ground, it is quite incredible that a thickness of many hundred feet 
of ice, saturated with fluid water, should be reduced much below the 
freezing point, or should even be frozen throughout. And that it is 
not, the striking testimony of the continued stream of water issuing 
all winter from under the ice can hardly fail to convince us; still 
more, the circumstance mentioned in my Fourteenth Letter, that even 
in the month of February the source of the Arveron becomes whitish 
and dirty, as in summer, before a change of weather, proving (as I 
have there remarked) that ' in the middle of winter a temporary rise 
of temperature over the higher glacier regions (which is the precursor 
of bad weather) not only produces a thaw there, but finds the usual 
channels still open for transmitting the accumulated snow-water.' 

" It thus appears quite certain that ice, under the circumstances in 
which we find it in the great bulk of glaciers, is in a state more or 
less softened even in winter ; and that, during nearly the whole sum- 
mer, whilst surrounded by air above 32°, and itself at that tempera- 
ture, it has acquired a still greater degree of plasticity, due to the 
latent heat which it has then absorbed." 



GOLD TN AUSTRALIA. 

We find the most methodical account of this discovery in a 
pamphlet by Captain John Elphinstone Erskine, R.N., whence the fol- 
lowing details are condensed : — 

Among the convicts who were sent out to form the first settlement 
in New South Wales, several instances are known to have occurred of 
rewards being demanded for real or pretended discoveries of gold ; 
but the applications were discouraged by the authorities. 

In December, 1829, it is mentioned in a Sydney paper that a piece 
of gold in the quartz matrix, was bought from a labouring man by 
Mr. Cohen, a silversmith. 

For several years after, a shepherd named M'Gregor, perhaps the 
same individual, was in the habit of occasionally bringing pieces of 
gold to Sydney, by the sale of which he realized considerable 
property. He repeatedly offered to reveal the fortunate locality 
(supposed to be in the Wellington district) for a large reward ; but 
this person was in jail for debt at the time of the late discoveries. 

The Rev. W. Clarke, well-known in South Wales, as an able 
geologist, brought specimens of the metal in 1841, from the basin 



GEOLOGY. 267 

of the very river (the Macquarie) now supplying it ; and he also 
repeatedly announced his conviction that gold existed in considerable 
abundance in the " schists and quartzites" of the mountain chain. 
In consequence of communications made by him to the Geological 
Society, Sir Roderick I. Murchison, in a letter addressed to Sir Charles 
Lemon, advised that a person well acquainted with the washing of 
mineral sands be sent to Australia, speculating on the probability of 
auriferous alluvia being abundant, and suggested " that such would 
be found at the base of the western flanks of the dividing ranges." 

In September, 1850, it was remarked in the Quarterly Review: 
"■ The important point for Englishmen now to consider, is the extent 
to which our own great Australian colonies are likely to become gold- 
bearing regions. The works of Count Strezlecki, and others, have 
made known the facts, that the chief or eastern ridge of that 
continent consists of palaeozoic rocks, cut through by syenites, 
granites, and porphyries ; and that quartzose rocks occasionally 
prevail in this long meridian chain. Sir Roderick I. Murchison 
announced, first to the Geographical Society (May, 1845), and after- 
wards to the Geological Society of Cornwall, his belief that wherever 
such contrasts occurred, gold might be expected to be found ; and 
Colonel Henderson suggested the same idea at St. Petersburg. Very 
shortly afterwards, not only were several specimens of gold in 
fragments of quartz veins found in the Blue Mountains north of 
Sydney, but one of the British chaplains, himself a good geologist, 
in writing more recently, thus expressed himself: — "This Colony is 
becoming a mining country, as well as South Australia. Copper, 
lead, and gold, are in considerable abundance in the schists and 
quartzites of the Cordillera (Blue Mountains). Vast numbers of the 
population are going to California, but some day I think we shall 
have to recall them." 

Mr. Montgomery Martin, in a pamphlet published in 1847, says: — 
" Sir Thomas Mitchell, in his recent expeditions to the north-east, 
found a region like the Uralian mountains, abounding in gold. The 
specimens I have seen of the gold are very rich. It is in large grains, 
or irregular veins, loosely imbedded in white quartz." 

About the beginning of 1849, a very fine specimen of gold in quartz 
was brought to Melbourne, Port Phillip ; it was said to have been 
found by a shepherd in the " Pyrenees," a day or two's journey from 
the town ; but his specimen was at first suspected to be an artful 
fabrication.* 

In the same year, Thomas Icely, Esq., of Coombings, a member of 
the Legislative Council of New South Wales, exhibited specimens of 
quartz brought from his property on the Bulabula, in which gold was 
distinctly visible ; and persons of good authority in England, to whom 
he also submitted them, expressed opinions favourable to their rich- 
ness in the precious metal. Assertions were now confidently made 
that by washing the alluvial deposits in the streams or gullies, 

* Some account of this discovery is given in the Year-hook of Facts, 1805, 
p. 270. 



268 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

flowing from the supposed auriferous ridges, gold in dust would cer- 
tainly be procured. Strange to say, in spite of Californian experience, 
the above experiment was not made, and the subject was altogether 
disbelieved. A Mr. Trappit having found a lump, or, as it is now 
termed, a "pocket" of gold, at the root of an old tree, was derisively 
told by persons to whom he showed his treasure, that it was evi- 
dently the effect of a bush fire, fusing into an irregular mass, some 
gold watches, which must have been stolen and planted (hidden) by 
a convict servant. 

The Colonial Government, about this time, expressed a desire to 
secure the services of some eminent English geologist in exploring 
the mineral capabilities of New South Wales (with a view to the 
extension of copper-mining), and accordingly, in November or De- 
cember, 1850, Mr. Stutchbury, who had been sometime curator of the 
Bristol Museum, arrived in Sydney ; having been named geologist to 
the Colony. Up to the beginning of May, 1851, however, no Report, 
holding out any hope of the existence of the precious metals had been 
received from this gentleman ; although he was said to have visited 
some of the localities in which they were believed to be most abun- 
dant. 

On May 2, 1851, a notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald 
(the leading paper of the Colony), intimating it to be no longer a 
secret that gold had been found in the earth, in several places in the 
western country; and that the fact was established on the 12th of 
February by Mr. E. Hargreaves, a resident of Brisbane Water, who 
had returned from California a few months previously. It was added, 
that while in California, Mr. Hargreaves felt persuaded that, from the 
similarity of the geological formation, there must be gold in several 
districts of New South Wales. 

On May 8, Mr. Hargreaves delivered a lecture in Bathurst, stating 1 , 
that after a careful examination of from two to three months, he 
had found that one large gold-field existed from the foot of the 
" Big Hill" to a considerable distance below Wellington ; that the 
precious metal had been picked up in numberless places, and that 
indications of its existence were to be seen in every direction ; 
adding that he had established a company of nine working miners, 
who were then digging at a point of the Summer-hill Creek (fresh 
water stream), near its junction with the Macquarie, about 50 miles 
from Bathurst, and 30 from Guyongi, and that the name of "Ophir" 
had been given to the spot. Mr. Hargreaves exhibited to the people 
present samples of fine gold, weighing in all about four ounces, the 
produce, he stated, of three days' work. The amount thus earned 
by each man he represented to be 21. 4s. 8d. per day ; but from 
want of practical knowledge and proper implements, nearly one- 
half the gold actually dug had been lost. One of his samples was a 
solid piece, weighing about 2 ounces, which had been found attached 
to the root of a tree; another consisted of small pieces, weighing 
from several grains to a pennyweight, all elongated ; and a third of 
small particles, principally oval. 



GEOLOGT. 2C9 

Besides, at Summer-hill and Lewis-pond Creeks, Mr. II. had also 
found gold at Dubbo, below Wellington, in powder fine as the finest 
flour ; but he did not believe that it existed in sufficient quantity to 
pay for labour. 

Mr. Stutchbury, the geological surveyor, was now directed to 
accompany Mr. Hargreaves to the Summer Hill Creek; and on 
arriving there digging had already commenced. On May 10, two 
days after Mr. Hargreaves's lecture, three persons left Bathurst, and 
on the 12th two of them returned, bringing one piece of gold, which 
weighed down 35 sovereigns ; another about half an ounce in weight ; 
and several small pieces — half an ounce altogether. The largest 
piece was described as of solid gold, about three inches long, and of 
varying thickness, with a small portion of quartz imbedded in its 
thickest part ; the smallest, was like spangles, but rough and uneven 
on the edges. On the following day, 2§ lbs. of gold in lumps, 
besides a quantity of dust, were brought into Bathurst. This good 
fortune naturally led to the formation of parties for mining, and the 
construction of machines, &c, for washing the soil. 

On May 17, Mr. Stutchbury's Report reached the Government; 
and this was so conclusive as to the existence of gold in large quan- 
tities, that a proclamation was issued, declaring the right of the 
Crown in all precious metals; and prohibiting all persons from search- 
ing for or carrying off the same, except under regulations, subse- 
quently settled at 30s. for a charge or licence-fee to be paid by each 
individual for permission to search for the precious metals, for every 
calendar month, or part of a month, to a Land Commissioner, who 
was also empowered to allot small portions of Crown land to each 
worker, and to settle disputes, &c. 

At this time, May 19, there were, even in this thinly populated 
country, from 500 to 600 persons at work on the Summer-hill and in 
Lewis-pond Creeks ; but, from ignorance of mining or washing, and 
the want of implements, few earned more than they could at their 
respective trades, and many gave up the search in despair. Mean- 
while, Mr. Hargreaves was rewarded by the Government with £500 
for his discovery; and he was appointed a Land Commissioner. 

On May 24, news reached Sydney that the gold diggers made 
from £3 to £4 per day; a party of four was said to have taken out 
thirty ounces in a day, and a piece of one pound weight had been 
found. One person was stated to have accumulated, within three 
weeks, £1600 worth of gold! A large quantity of gold was lying in 
the bank at Bathurst, awaiting a safe conveyance to Sydney ; and 
the whole of Mr. Wentworth's property, near Bathurst (Fitzgerald's 
Valley), was found to be one large gold-field. 

Before the end of May, the first shipment of gold had been made 
for London on board the Thomas A rbut/niot, the estimated value 
being about £800. Among the freight was one piece weighing about 
40 ounces, which had previously been exhibited in Sydney. Pieces 
of the same description continued to be found at intervals, viz. one 
of 36 ounces, and another of 22, by a Mr. Lester, who sold the latter 



270 YEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

for £76. Two fine specimens (18 and 23 ounces) were bought by 
the Colonial Government, for presentation to Queen Victoria. 

Among the places where gold was found were the Shoalhaven gullies, 
and the Crookwell river, in the county of Argyle, south of Sydney; 
Fitzgerald's valley and O'Connell's plains, near Bathurst ; Muclgee 
and Cassilis, in the county of Bligh, northward ; and many tributary 
streams of the Macquarie; all which spots lie at but a short distance 
from the meridian which Mr. Clarke had pointed out as that near 
which auriferous deposits might confidently be looked for. On 
June 9, Mr. Stutchbury's Report, that he had found gold by pro- 
specting with a small pan, and without going any depth, at various 
points of the Turon, attracted the gold-seekers to that river, where 
the metal might be found with less trouble than at Ophir. Adven- 
turers now flocked from Sydney, Maitland, and New England; as 
well as overland parties from Port Phillip (Victoria); and a Bathurst 
paper of July 5, estimates the number of miners at 800 or 1000, 
stretching over 7 or 8 miles of the Turon river. On July 14, many 
parties had arrived in Bathurst, bringing with them large quantities 
of gold ; one party of six had made £400 in ten days ; another of the 
same number, £500 in fourteen days, &c. 

About the middle of July, it was rumoured that a mass of quartz, 
weighing nearly 3 cwt., and containing upwards of one hundred 
pounds of gold, had been found near Meroo, or Merinda creek ; the 
Bathurst Mail of July 15, confirmed this report, when there 
were found by Dr. Kerr, or rather his aboriginal shepherd, and 
brought to Sydney, in a tin box, 106 pounds of gold, in pieces 
all disemboweled from the earth at one time. The largest of 
the blocks was about a foot in diameter, and weighed 75 lbs., out of 
which was taken 65 lbs. of pure gold! The auriferous mass, before it 
was broken, weighed from 2 to 3 cwt. ; had it not been broken, it 
would have been invaluable as a specimen, which the world had seen 
nothing like. The heaviest of the two large pieces resembled a 
honeycomb, or sponge, of crystalline particles, as did nearly the 
whole of the gold. The quartz block, when found, formed an iso- 
lated heap, about 100 yards from a quartz vein, stretching up the 
ridge from the Murroo creek, about 53 miles from Bathurst, 18 from 
Mudgee, 30 from Wellington, and 18 to the nearest point of the 
Macquarie river. 

This vast lump of gold was sold at Bathurst to the agent of Messrs. 
Thacker and Co., of Sydney, for £4160. On July 23, the Mar if 
Bannatyne shipped for London nearly 280 pounds of gold, valued at 
£11,600, besides 800 ounces of Californian gold; and smaller 
amounts had been privately despatched by other ves-els. On Aug. 5, 
400 persons left Sydney for the "diggings." On August 7, there 
was delivered at the Treasury, in Sydney, 288 lbs. of gold, valued at 
upwards of £11,500; and on the 12th a shipment to the amount of 
£28,960 (including the shipment of Messrs. Thacker's gold), was 
made on board the barque Bondicar, for London. On August 15, 



GEOLOGY. 271 

there was delivered at Sydney about 240 pounds of gold (Government 
price 31. Ss. Qd. per oz.) valued at £9684. 

The alluvial gold hitherto found in New South Wales is said, by 
Mr. Clarke to be rather superior in fineness to that of California, 
and of Minsk, in Russia, and yield somewhat above 90 per cent, of 
pure metal. One mugget, which weighed 51 oz. 14 dwts., with small 
bits of quartz in the indentations, was estimated by Mr. Hale, to 
contain 51 oz. of clean gold, of 23 carats fine.* The price first 
given at Bathurst by purchase, was 21. 18s. an ounce ; it gradually 
rose to 31. 5s., and was in August, at Sydney, 31. 8s. 6d. Such is an 
outline of the Gold Discovery in New South Wales, from the time of 
the first available finding to the advices from the Colony, August 18. 
For further details, with Notes of an Excursion to the Gold-fields, 
the reader is referred to Captain Erskine's account.- 

Gold has since been found in still greater abundance at Buninyong, 
about 80 miles from Melbourne ; and in the Hunter's River district, on 
the Liverpool plains, 200 miles from Maitland. At the Victoria (Port 
Phillip) diggings, eight feet square of ground are stated to have pro- 
duced 23G0 ounces of gold. On Sept. 25, were brought into Sydney 
6456 ounces. A small portion of gold has also been discovered in 
Van Diemen's Land. 

Meanwhile, in California, the gold mines continue productive; 
though a competent person who has returned from a trip through 
the mines, states that the amount of money spent and to be ex- 
pended during the next three years, in quartz rock machinery, and 
experiments of various kinds, will exceed the profits of gold ob- 
tainable therefrom in the subsequent three years of labour and toil. 

* See the chemical analysis of two specimens of Australian gold, in the Che- 
mical Section of the present volume, page 164. 

t A Short Account of the late Discoveries of Gold in Australia, with Notes of 
a Visit to the Gold District. By John Elphinstone Erskine, Captain R.N. 
Second Edition. T. & W. Boone, 1S52. This account was compiled on tho 
passage from England to Sydney, which the writer quitted Aug. 18. 

The district of Bathurst lies at the foot of the Blue Mountains, about a 
hundred miles from Sydney : a range which comprehends among its rock for- 
mations a great variety of the crystalline or unstratified rocks, — as, granite 
(both the porphyritic and common kinds), sienite, quartz rock, serpentine, and 
eurite. Mica slate and siliceous slates form also a portion of the stratified rocks. 
This very extensive Alpine range stretches from the northern shore of Aust ralia 
to the southern shore of Van Diemen's Land; and through its whole length the 
same geological conditions prevail. These bear a striking resemblance to those 
observed in the Uralian Mountains and in the ranges of California. Dr. Lhot&ky, 
in describing his journey from Sydney to the Australian Alps, in February, 1884, 
says: "in many places on Menero, my attention was fixed by the people upon 
the^oW, which they said, is to be found in the creek, &c. However, I knew that 
it was nothing but the metallic scales of mica they were pointing out to me." 



272 TEAK-BOOK OF FACTS. 

glstronomtcal anb J¥Uteorological ^jmxomena. 



TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN. — JULY 28, 1851. 

The following was the course of the Eclipse across Europe: — 
Entering Norway near Bergen, the shadow crossed both coasts of 
Norway, both coasts of Sweden, and the eastern coast of the Baltic : 
then ranged through Poland and the south frontier of Russia, across 
the Sea of Azof, through Georgia to the Caspian Sea. It passed 
Christiana, Goteborg, Carlscrona, Danzig, Konigsberg, Warsaw, and 
Tiflis. 

The public had been most efficiently prepared for the observation 
of the Eclipse, by an able lecture, delivered by the Astronomer 
Royal, at the Royal Institution, on May 2nd (reported in the 
Atkenceum, No. 1230); and by a cleverly observant letter of Mr. 
Hind, to the Times, dated July 9. 

From among the many records of the various phenomena observed, 
we select the following from a letter to the Times, by Mr. Hind, 
stating briefly the result of his own observations, which were taken, 
under favourable circumstances, at a point within the zone of 
totality. I had originally fixed (says Mr. Hind) upon Carlskrona, 
on the east coast of Sweden, as an advantageous position from which 
to view the eclipse, that place being near the central line ; but, on 
arriving at Ystad, the difficulty of reaching Carlskrona in time for 
the observations appeared so great, that I resolved to retrace my 
steps, by way of Copenhagen, to Helsingborg on the Sound, from 
which place an excursion up the country could be made on the day 
of the eclipse, far enough from the southern edge of the shadow 
to give about two minutes of total obscuration. I accordingly 
observed at a small village called Ravelsburg, one mile north of 
the pretty town ofEngelhom in Sweden, and about 18 English miles 
from Helsingborg, in the direction of the central line. The view from 
this place was very extensive, Kullen point lying west south-west 
with the intervening bay of Engelholm ; while the landscape to the 
north included many miles of hill and dale over which to note the 
effects of the total eclipse. At half-past 1 o'clock the day was very 
fine. Light clouds of the modification termed cumuli, spread over 
the horizon in nearly every direction, alight cirrus cloud covered the 
south-west sky to an altitude of about 15 degrees, the zenith and the 
heavens for 40 degrees around it being perfectly clear. At 10 
minutes before 3 o'clock, clouds of the same character had somewhat 
arisen in the south-west, but the sun was still quite free. 

At 2 h. 59 m. P.M. local mean time, the first contact of the limbs 
of the sun and moon took place. The definition of the limbs was 
beautifully sharp and clear, beyond anything I ever witnessed, even 
under the most favourable circumstances, in England. As the moon 
advanced, I remarked that her edge was extremely rough, the moun- 



ASTRONOMICAL AND METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA. 273 

tains on her surface near the limb being numerous, and some of them 
of considerable altitude. A fine line of light along the moon's limb 
off the sun was suspected for an arc of about 20 degrees eight minutes 
after the eclipse had commenced. At 3h. 12m. the diminution of 
daylight was perceptible upon the surrounding landscape, and at 
3 h. 30 m. the distant hills looked dull and misty. At this time there 
was no appearance of illumination of the moon's limb, though I 
looked very closely and attentively. The clouds in the south-west 
had risen considerably, but the snu was perfectly clear. At 3h. 35m. 
I noticed a tinge of colour upon the moon's surface, usually red or 
reddish purple; but it appeared variable and at times of a dark olive 
hue. Soon afterwards it was remarked that the diminution of day- 
light was very sensible, particularly on the sea and mountains of 
Kullen Point, the mistiness of distant objects increasing. At 3h. 
40m. I remarked that the moon's disc was certainly of a dull coppery 
red, and suspected there was a slight illumination of her outline. At 
3h. 43m. a great diminution of light, particularly towards the south, 
as much as a dense cloud would cause if it overspread the sky; 
gloomy out at sea, and towards Kullen Point. At 3h. 46m. the 
whole of that part of the moon near the sun was strongly illuminated 
with a coppery light, gradually shading off, and strongest at a short 
distance from the sun's border. Objects looked very dull. I thought 
the outline of the moon could be traced for some degrees by the dif- 
ference of colour between the coppery red of her surface and the 
neutral tint of the field of view. At 3h. 49m. objects towards the 
north presented a very peculiar appearance, as though they were 
illuminated by a vivid flash of lightning, or the electrical light. At 
3h. 51m. a chilly feeling in the air, the horizon looked closer in 
every direction, and the daylight now diminished very perceptibly. 
A thin cirrus cloud began to form about the sun, but it was of so 
slight a character as not to interfere in the slightest degree with the 
observations. The azure blue of the sky had very much deepened, 
particularly north of the zenith, where it was of a deep violet. The 
moon's limb appeared very uneven, quite a gap on her south edge. 
At 3h. 55m. everything very gloomy — the air felt chilly and damp, 
the sky of an intense blue colour. From this moment my eye was 
applied to the telescope until the sun had gone out entirely. Just 
before the commencement of the total eclipse, a considerable mountain 
on the moon's edge appeared to shoot forward and join the sun's limb, 
thus cutting off a small portion of his disc near the southern cusp. 
About 20 seconds before the totality, the same appearance presented 
itself with respect to many other irregularities upon the moon's edge; 
and instantaneously " Baily's beads" were formed. The only visible 
portion of the sun resembled a string of fine luminous beads, separated 
by irregular intervals, and clearly caused in the present instance by 
the sun shining between the mountain peaks and along the valleys 
on the apparent edge of our satellite. The same exquisite definition 
of the limbs of the sun and moon, to which I have before alluded, 
continued during the partial eclipse, and the phenomena of " the 

T 



274 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

beads" were seen in all their beauty, until the beginning of the 
total eclipse was marked by their instantaneous disappearance. 

Up to this moment I had employed a dark glass, throwing a 
neutral tint over the field of the telescope : my attention was so 
arrested by the unexpected distinctness of "Baily's beads" that I 
omitted to remove the shade for a few seconds after they had vanished, 
and thereby lost the view of the sudden formation of the corona, or 
" ring of glory," round the sun ; and when I looked without the dark 
glass, certainly not more than five or six seconds after the extinction 
of the sun, the corona and red flames were already conspicuous. 
With respect to the former, I should describe it as a luminous ring, 
very much brighter towards the sun, and gradually fading away to a 
distance of about half the diameter of the moon, where its light be- 
came lost in the ground colour of the heavens. Its colour resembled 
that of tarnished silver ; but I am inclined to attribute this to the in- 
tervention of a very thin cloud, and think it very probable that in the 
absence of this cloud the corona would have appeared perfectly white. 
There was a flickering or unsteadiness in its light, but nothing re- 
sembling circular motion. Divergent rays of a somewhat paler 
colour than the corona itself, appeared to stream off in every direction 
from the border of the sun, and I think their extremities were fre- 
quently visible beyond the limits of the corona; those portions nearer 
the sun appeared to be shining through this luminous ring. 

The rose-coloured prominences described so minutely by observers 
of the total eclipse of 1842, formed by far the most striking feature 
during the eclipse of the 28th ult. The most remarkable one was 
situated about five degrees north of the parallel of declination on the 
western limb of the moon. It was curved like a sabre near its ex- 
tremity, but perfectly straight throughout two-thirds of its length. 
The edges were deeply tinged with rose-red, which faded off towards 
the centre, but I saw no violet colour about this prominence. On 
first viewing this remarkable object through the telescope, a few 
seconds after the commencement of totality, I estimated its length 
at about forty-five seconds of an arc ; and being most desirous to 
obtain a confirmation or otherwise of the observation at Honolulu, 
during the total eclipse of the sun in August, 1850, I watched at- 
tentively for any alteration of size that might be apparent, and in less 
than thirty seconds found that it had lengthened considerably ; for 
though it had remained perfectly stationary, I now estimated its 
length at one minute and a half, or twice as great as at the first 
glimpse, the dark body of the moon having appeared to move away 
gradually; and leave more and more of the projection visible. About 
ten degrees south of the principal prominence, and at a distance of 
one minute of arc from the moon's dark limb, I saw a luminous tri- 
angular spot of the same colour as the great flame, yet perfectly de- 
tached from the limb ; it was evidently of the same nature as the 
large prominence, and must have existed in the upper regions of the 
solar atmosphere. The edges were of a bright rose-pink — the centre 
paler. With the exception of a gradual receding of this spot from 



ASTRONOMICAL AND METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA. 275 

the moon's limb as she moved across the sun, I could distinguish no 
change. Its form, appearance, and position, relative to the large 
projection, continued exactly the same as long as I could discern 
either. On the dark limb of the moon, on the side near the horizon, 
there appeared an uninterrupted succession of rose-coloured in- 
equalities, which seemed to be in a state of fluctuation, though not to 
such an extent as materially to change their number and positions. 
The tops were of a full rose-red, but their bases presented a bright 
violet tint, which appeared to spread along the limb of the moon. 

Near the western extremity of this long range of '* flames " there 
was an isolated one of about 40 aeoondfl' altitude, and another of similar 
magnitude, at an angle of 145° from the north towards the east. I was 
too closely occupied in watching the larger prominence to pay much 
attention to the smaller ones during the short time allowed me; and 
I am consequently unable to state from observation whether they 
underwent the same gradual variations of apparent magnitude. The 
moon's surface was decidedly reddish-purple soon after the beginning 
of the total eclipse ; but half a minute later it seemed to have lost 
the reddish tinge and assumed a dull purple colour. The position of 
the approaching reappearance of the sun was indicated by the visi- 
bility of a bright glow, like twilight, on that part of the limb of the 
moon where the continuous range of rose-coloured projections had 
presented itself ; a few seconds afterwards the "beads" were again 
noticed, not so numerous as before, but larger and more bril- 
liant ; five seconds more and this beautiful appearance vanished, the 
sun reappearing as an extremely narrow but rapidly widening 
crescent. About ten minutes subsequently, clouds began to form 
near the sun, and he was soon hidden from this cause, so that no 
opportunity was afforded of watching the declining phases of the 
eclipse. 

Such are the principal telescopic phenomena which I was for- 
tunate enough to witness ; but I doubt if any language can convey 
an adequate impression of the grand, nay, awful phenomena on the 
earth and in the heavens during the continuance of the total eclipse. 
The entire landscape was overspread with an unnatural gloom — 
persons near me assumed an unearthly cadaverous aspect — the sea, 
in the distance, appeared of a lurid red — the whole of the southern 
heavens were of a sombre purple or purplish grey; the only indication 
of the sun's place being the ring of light which we are accustomed 
to term the corona. North of the zenith the sky was of the most 
intense violet and appeared very near ; and, to crown the whole, the 
north-west and north-east heavens were occupied by broad bands of 
light of a yellowish-crimson, or Claude-Lorraine red, which gradually 
sinking into the unnatural purple of the sky at greater altitudes 
produced an effect that will never be effaced from my recollection, 
though I feel that I can convey no just idea of its awful grandeur. 
I envy those observers who were not compelled, in their character of 
astronomers, to withdraw their eyes from the contemplation of these 
astounding phenomena on the earth and in the atmosphere to view 

T2 



276 YEAR-BOOK OP FACTS. 

the less imposing, though doubtless, not less remarkable appearances 
which the telescope exhibited round the sun. A few seconds, how- 
ever, were sufficient to fix the general aspect of Nature, in my mind, 
beyond the chance of forgetting it as long as my life lasts. 

I saw no stars or planets myself ; but on my journey home was 
frequently assured of their having been distinctly seen, even at Copen- 
hagen, where the eclipse was not total. It was so gloomy in this 
city that persons had difficulty in recognising each other in the streets. 
One remarkable proof of the accuracy of astronomical calculations 
relative to the eclipse came to my knowledge. According to the best 
theories of the sun and moon, the eclipse should have been total at 
Helsingborg on the Swedish side of the Sound, but partial only on 
the opposite coast at Elsinore ; and the captain of a steamboat, pass- 
ing at the time between these places and about half a mile from 
Helsingborg, describes the curious effect produced by the country 
being dark in Sweden, the gloom increasing the further the eye was 
directed from the coast ; while in Denmark the sun was evidently 
shining during the continuance of the total eclipse in Sweden. The 
southern limit of the shadow must therefore have passed over the 
Sound rather nearer to the Swedish than to the Danish coast — pre- 
cisely as predicted. J. R. HlND. 

Mr. Bishop's Observatory, Regent's-park, August 6. 

The Solar Eclipse at Rome {July 28). — Official Account. 

The day was fine and could not have been more propitious for 
observing the magnificent phenomenon. 

The commencement of the eclipse, as observed in the reflector of 
Cauchoix, was precisely at 3h. 24min r 32sec. 72' mean time, and its 
termination at 5h. 25min. 7sec. 23'. The purity and unusual 
tranquillity of the atmosphere enabled us to observe these two 
phases of the eclipse without the appearance of any irregular 
refraction on the edge of the sun. The slight difference between 
these times and those previously announced is to be ascribed to our 
calculations having been only approximate and sufficiently accurate 
for the purpose — that of calling attention to the subject for which 
they were intended. 

A singular circumstance to be noted was the almost total absence 
of spots on the sun's disc, there being only a group of two small 
spots at the point of entrance, and another very minute one which 
had only appeared that day at the point of exit. These prevented 
our multiplying observations of the conjunction of the edge of the 
moon with that of the sun ; but in their stead, with Gambery's 
excellent theodolite, several distances were measured in azimuth and 
altitude of the edges of the solar and lunar orbits and of the points of 
the phase. All these observations, when properly reduced, will 
afford valuable astronomical data. 

The absence of the spots was compensated by that of the faculce, 
or bright spots, of which some were visible even with medium 
powers ; but by projecting with a good telescope the solar disc on a 



ASTRONOMICAL AND METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA. 277 

"white surface in a darkened chamber, so as to have an image of a 
foot and a half or two feet in diameter, it was seen to be all dotted 
with points brighter than the ground, especially numerous and vivid 
near the sun's equator. The irregularities of the edge of the moon 
were very visible in the reflected image ; and it was also remarked 
that the interior border of the solar crescent corresponding to the 
edge of the moon appeared more sharp and better defined than its 
external edge. The proximity of the two borders rendered this 
phenomenon very apparent even with high powers. 

The absence of light is the most striking phenomenon in an 
eclipse, and the purity of the sky enabled us to collect various 
observations on this subject. A quarter of an hour after the begin- 
ning of the eclipse, the light, had already suffered a sensible diminu- 
tion, and at the moment of greater obscuration this was very notable. 
Some data led us to estimate it as equivalent to the light about half 
an hour before sunset; though being white and not ruddy as that of 
the evening, it was more vivid. As, however, such observations are 
both difficult and uncertain, we paid more especial attention to ob- 
serving the force of radiation. A series of experiments made during 
every 5 minutes from the beginning of the eclipse, with an excel- 
lent thermo-muttiplier by Melloni, gave us the intensity of the rays 
at the moment of greatest obscuration as less by one-fourth than that 
at the beginning of the eclipse, even allowing for the diminished 
altitude of the sun ; and we arrive at the same conclusion from a 
series of observations made on photographic paper ; these were 
continued till sunset, and give the intensity of radiation at the 
moment of greatest obscurity, as equal to that 22 minutes before 
sunset. 

Hoping to ascertain if the sun has greater illuminating powers at 
the edges than in the centre, we had prepared a number of Daguerreo- 
type plates, on which the image of the sun was obtained by ap- 
plying the camera to the telescope of Cauchoix. They were ob- 
tained in a fraction less than a second, and have a diameter of 78 mill. 
They show clearly the softened (or smudged) appearance of the edge of 
the solar disc, which is more remarkable in contrast with the sharp 
line of the moon. 

Thermometrical observations were also taken both with instru- 
ments exposed to the sun and in the shade. Those taken in the sun 
agree with the observations made with Melloni's apparatus, those in 
the shade show the minimum of heat about 7 minutes after the 
greatest obscuration. Shortly after this moment there appeared in 
the sky a slight cloud, produced, doubtless, by the diminished heat 
of the atmosphere, which speedily dispersed, and the sky again ap- 
peared in all its purity. The variation of moisture was also indicated 
by the hygrometrical instruments ; and the lowery appearance of the 
sun's edge, which did not, however, continue till the end of the 
eclipse, also denoted the increased humidity. At the time of greatest 
darkness the barometer marked a slight rise. 

The darkness was not enough to produce extraordinary effects 



278 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

upon the animals; but we observed many small birds take refuge under 
the eaves of houses, doubtless under the apprehension of an ap- 
proaching storm, which, in fact, the gloom very much resembled. 

A. Secchi, D.C.G., D., Director. 

Observatory of the Roman College, July 29. 

At Comrie, Perthshire, Mr. M'Farlane, in observing the eclipse 
during the intervals that the showery and cloudy state of the weather 
permitted, noted the following fact, which may be interesting, as in 
a great degree explanatory of some of the most remarkable pheno- 
mena attending total eclipses. The rays passing close to and over 
the moon's body were much agitated. This Mr. M'Farlane at first 
was inclined to ascribe to the vapoury state of the atmosphere ; but 
soon noticed that could not have been the cause, as the light from the 
sun's external limits was calm, and gave a most distinct marginal 
line, while that portion of the sun's face which was bounded by the 
convex and dark outline of the satellite and that outline seemed to be 
dancing together. In case of any mistake, Mr. M'Farlane caused two 
friends successively to examine the appearance, and they both re- 
ported it to be distinctly such as described. The instrument used 
was a Newtonian reflector, of six inches diameter, with a magnifying 
power on of about 180. — Athenceum, No. 1240. 

Thermometric Readings during the Eclipse. 







Dry 


Wet 






h. 


m. 


Therm. 


Therm. 


Diff. 




2 


5 


66-7 


fil-2 


55 


cirro-stratus. Cumulus. 




15 


650 


608 


42 


rain. 




30 


65.1 


61.0 


4-1 






45 


649 


603 


46 


slight rain. 


8 





640 


60-0 


4-0 


rain. 




11 


635 


600 


35 


ditto. 




15 


63-0 


596 


34 


ditto. 




30 


630 


599 


31 


ditto. 




37 


627 


595 


32 


ditto. 




45 


630 


60-0 


3 


ditto. 




40 


63 


599 


31 


ditto. 




15 


62-8 


599 


29 


smart rain. 




30 


62 5 


600 


25 


light rain. 



The above readings may conveniently be divided into two portions : 
those taken during the time the solar orb was darkened, and those 
recorded as the dark body of the moon was passing off. During the 
first period, from 2h. 5m. to 3h. 11m., we have a diminution of tem- 
perature equal to 3 "2°; while during the last, from 3h. 11m. to 4h. 
15m., the diminution is only -7°. The lowest reading in the series 
occurred at 3h. 37m., viz. 62'7°. At 3h. 28m. the thermometer was 
noticed at 62 'S . So that the entire diminution during the period 
of the eclipse was 4 "2°, which was succeeded by a rise of half a degree, 
63° being the highest reading during the last half of the eclipse. The 
effect of the eclipse on the temperature is therefore most distinctly 
marked ; for no sooner has the greatest obscuration passed than the 
diminution of temperature is immediately arrested, and the thermo- 
meter with one or two exceptions is nearly stationary. The influence 



ASTRONOMICAL AND METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA. 279 

of the eclipse on the moisture is also apparent, but not so marked as 
on the temperature. But few glimpses of the sun were obtained : 
shortly after the commencement it was seen between the passing 
clouds, and also at the time of the greatest obscuration through a 
dense sheet of cirro-stratus. This and cumulus were the only clouds 
observed. There were scarcely any opportunities of observing the 
effects on plants. At about half-past two, some specimens of Stel- 
laria media (chickweed) were about one-third open, — they were all 
nearly closed by the time of the greatest obscuration. This most 
probably arose from the increasing humidity. Rain fell without in- 
termission, sometimes approaching to heavy during the last half of 
the eclipse. 

11a, Wellington-street, William Radcliff Birt. 

Victoria Park, July 28. —Athenaium, No. 1240. 

See also the Astronomical Society's Monthly Notice for November. 

Also, in Jameson's Journal, No. 102, an account by J. W. Good, 
Esq., from Elsinore ; observations from Helsingborg, in Sweden; and 
notices by Professor Piazzi Smyth. 



NEW PLANET. 

On May 19, Mr. Hind, at Mr. Bishop's Observatory, succeeded in 
discovering another small planet, RA then 16 h. 4 m. and NPD 183° 
23'. It has been named by Sir J. Herschel, Irene; and a dove with an 
olive-branch, and a star on the head, assigned it as a "symbol. The 
brightness of the planet at the time of discovery was rather over that 
of a star of the ninth magnitude; the light was very blue, and there 
appeared to be a surrounding faint nebulous envelope, which was not 
perceptible about the stars in the vicinity. 

The distance of Irene from the sun proves to be 2*554; and the 
period 1491 days, coming very close to the last previously discovered 
asteroid, Egeria, the numbers for which were respectively 2 579 and 
1-513. 

An interesting feature in the history of the discovery, is the fact 
of its having been independently found only four days later by the 
active Neapolitan, M. Gasparis ; and this is the first instance among 
the asteroids of the same body being separately discovered by two 
persons ; though there are few of the comets where the honour has 
not been more or less divided. — Professor Piazzi Smyth; Jameson's 
Journal, No. 101. 



Saturn's dark ring. 
The interesting, and, as it was thought, new feature, seems to 
have been discovered by Encke as far back as 1838, and to have been 
published at the time with as many details as have now been ascer- 
tained by Messrs. Bond, Dawes, and Lassel. It is to be regretted 
that in all the intervening time no transit of the ring across a star 
should have been observed to give an idea of the number and trans- 
parency of the light and dark rings, which Professor Bond is inclined 
to think must be of a fluid nature. 



280 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

WATERSPOUTS AND HURRICANE IN SICILY. 

Intelligence received at Lloyd's, under date Malta, December, 8th 
inst., details a most awful occurrence at the Island of Sicily: — which 
had been swept by two enormous Waterspouts, accompanied by a 
terrific Hurricane. Those who witnessed the phenomenon described 
the waterspouts as two immense spherical bodies of water reaching 
from the clouds, their cones nearly touching the earth ; and, as far as 
could be judged, at a quarter of a mile apart, travelling with immense 
velocity. They passed over the island near Marsala. In their pro- 
gress, houses were unroofed, trees uprooted, men and women, horses, 
cattle, and sheep, were raised up, drawn into their vortex, and borne 
on to destruction. During their passage, rain descended in cataracts, 
accompanied with hailstones of enormous size and masses of ice. Going 
over Castellamare, near Stabia, it destroyed half the town, and washed 
200 of the inhabitants into the sea, who all perished. Upwards of 
500 persons have been destroyed by this terrible visitation, and 
an immense amount of property, — the country being laid waste for 
miles. The shipping in the harbour suffered severely, many vessels 
being destroyed and their crews drowned. After the occurrence, 
numbers of dead human bodies were picked up, all frightfully 
mutilated and swollen. 



THE METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

The first ordinary Meeting of this Society was held on Tuesday 
evening, March 25, at 13, Moorgate-street. Mr. Whitbread, the 
President, commenced by referring to the efforts of himself; Mr. 
Glaisher, the secretary ; Dr. Lee, and a few other gentlemen ; to 
obtain the institution of a Society for the advancement of Meteoro- 
logical Science. 

The Secretary then addressed the Meeting on the present state of 
the Society, and the labours of the officers in attempting to lay the 
foundations of the Society on a firm basis. Already some of the re- 
sults of their labours were in the hands of all the members : as the 
address ; the form for collecting observations, tables for their reduc- 
tion, whereby it is to be hoped that uniformity will be obtained both 
in the observations and in their reduction ; framing the institutes, &c. 
The number of members was 160. 

Mr. Glaisher then described the true purpose of a Meteorological 
Society to be the collection of facts of undoubted accuracy, — of facts 
plainly recorded without reference to theory. As isolated facts are 
usually the effects of causes in operation at distant places, a great 
number of observers are required, working simultaneously on one 
plan and under one guidance, by which means only we may hope to 
increase our meteorological knowledge. This influence can be ex- 
ercised only by a Society organized for that purpose. Hence, one 
plain duty of the Society and its members is to collect these facts, 
and to plant observers where such should be noted. 

Mr. Glaisher then urged the employment in the observations of 
instruments of known character, simple, and accurate in their con- 
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282 YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS. 

The numbers in columns 5 and 6 are determinations of the mean temperature 
of the air by different instruments and methods — those in column 5 by the 
readings of self-registering thermometers daily, and those in column 6 by the 
readings of a simple thermometer taken at the times before mentioned. The num- 
bers in column 7 show the true temperature of the air in every month, those in 
column 8 the true temperature of evaporation ; and those in column 15 the true 
temperature of the dew point, or that temperature at which the vapour in the 
air is deposited in the shape of water. 

The mean reading of the barometer for the year 1851 was 29*826 inches ; the 
mean temperature of the air for the year was 49°'2 ; that of evaporation was 
46 o, ; and that of the dew point was 42 0, 7. Eain fell on 146 days ; and the 
amount collected was 20| inches, being about 4 inches below the average. 

Till February 22, from March 18 to the end of the month, from April 17 to 
24, from June 19 to the end of June, from July 27 to August 25, from October 1 
to October 28, the temperature of the air was mostly above its average values for 
those periods ; and it was either equal to or below it at other times. The weather 
during the months of April, May, and June, was for the most part cold and 
unseasonable. The month of November was distinguished by very cold weather, 
and it was the coldest November since the year 1786. 

The reading of the barometer during the last three months of the year was in 
excess, and particularly in December. 

The rain all over the country was about one-fifth below its average amount, 
except in the county of Norfolk. The scarcity of rain was experienced in the 
last quarter of the year, during which period only two-fifths of the fall for the 
period was collected, and many wells were dried up, and water was scarce in 
many places both in England and Scotland. 

For additional particulars, see the Eeport of James Glaisher, Esq., F.E.S., in 
the Quarterly Eeports of the Eegistrar-General. 



THE PLANET NEPTUNE. 

Part of vol. ii. of the Smithsonian contributions to knowledge has 
been received from America, containing some valuable researches 
relative to the Planet Neptune, by Mr. Sears C. Walker. The first 
section contains an abstract of events connected with the discovery of 
Neptune, the progress made in its theory, and the completion of the 
theory of Uranus. The second, a detailed account of the discovery of 
the two ancient places of Neptune observed by Lalande, in May, 1795. 
The third, computations relative to the authenticity of Lalande's ob- 
servations. And the fourth, subsequent researches on the orbits of 
Neptune, in the course of which, with the most praiseworthy labour 
and skill, all the observations of any weight which are known to have 
been made of the planet down to January, 1848, whether at public 
or private observations, and in all parts of the world, have been col- 
lected together, and compared with an ephemeris derived from Mr. 
Walker's elements; thus forming one of the grandest contributions 
which has been made to exact astronomy for some time past. — 
Prof. Piazzi Smyth; Jameson's Journal, No. 101. 



PERTURBATIONS OF URANUS. 

The Paris Correspondent of the Literary Gazette says : — "A curious 
fact for astronomers has been ascertained. In the papers of the 
celebrated Lalande, recently presented to the Academy of Sciences by 
M. Arago, there is a note to the effect that so far back as the 25th 
of October, 1800, he and Burckhardt were of opinion, from cal- 
culations, that there must be a planet beyond Uranus, and they 
occupied themselves for some time in trying to discover its precise 
position." 



©bttuavp Etst 

OF PERSONS EMINENT IN SCIENCE OR ART. 1851. 

M. Goeben-Wahlenbeeg, the distinguished botanist and geologist, Professor at 
the University of Upsal and Director of the Botanical Gardens. 

M. Daguerre, discoverer of the Daguerreotype. 

The Earl of Dekby, President of the Zoological Society. 

Db. Gutzlaff, Chinese scholar. 

Da. J. Kidd, author of the Bridgewater Treatise "On the Physical Condition 
of Man." 

Charles Konig, Keeper of the Mineral Department of the British Museum. 

Db. Edwabd Binns, author of the " Anatomy of Sleep." 

Peof. Schumacher, the Astronomer in the Observatory at Altona, and many 
years editor of the Astronomische Nachrichten. (Dec. 28, 1850.) 

Pieebe Lapie, French geographer. 

T. S. Davies, F.R.S., one of the Professors at the Royal Military Academy at 
Woolwich. 

Joshua Milne, author of the celebrated " Treatise on Annuities and Assurances." 

Pye Smith, D.D., author of "The Connexion of Scripture and Geology;" in 
which he considered how far geological facts are reconcilable with the 
commonly received notions respecting a universal deluge, assumed to have 
happened only 4000 years before our time. 

Db. Benjamin Goldschmidt, Director of the Observatory, and one of the Pro* 
fessors of Astronomy in the University of Berlin. 

Jacobi, the Russian philosopher. 

Oeested, the Danish philosopher. 

Db. Kunze, Professor of Botany at Leipsic. 

Count Stanislaus Plater, the Polish geographer. 

Christian Fredeeick Tieck, sculptor, Berlin. 

Sir James Graham Dalyell, the eminent naturalist. 

Loeenz Oken, Professor of Natural History in the University of Zurich. 

William Nicol, Edinburgh, inventor of the single-image prism of calcareous spar. 

M. de Savigny, member of the Zoological Section of the Academy of Sciences 
in Paris. 

Samuel Beaseley, architect. 

William Wyon, R.A., the distinguished medal engraver. 

R. C. Taylor, geologist. 

Db. De Kay, author of works on " The Natural History of New York." 

Hebe Cir\nr,Fs Matthew Sandeb, celebrated surgeon of Germany, and 
archaeologist. 

The Makquis of Noethampton, President of the Royal Society, 1838-48; a 
distinguished geologist. 

Db. Link, Professor of Botany in the University of Berbn, and the oldest 
member of the Royal Acs noes. 

John Jamis Aim bun. ( !h ■ re ra ( in ericas naturalist. 

Richabd 1'niLLirs, F.I'.S., one of 'he editors of the Philosophical Mdijacinr, 
from tlie time the A >ntnls qf Pkilotophf were incorporated with it, oi which 
latter publication b wluctor from the year 1821. Richard 

Phillips was one of the original founders of the Geological Society, the 
intimate friend of Daw an .'. Wollaston, and enjoyed the personal friendship 
and esteem of the most celebr i ital chemist*. He was tor many 

years a member of the Ccum.-il of the Royal Society, and for the last two 
years President of the Chemical Society. He was also chemist and curator. 
to the Museum of Practical Geology. 

Mabie IIimm HiiiinTtv M It i. v i I v 1 1. 1. 1, tfember of the Academy of 
Sciences at France: !>• Lamarck, as Professor of Natural His- 

tory in Paris, and M a - BOOSei] to replace t'usier in the Chair 

of Comparative Anatoms: in these dcj.art tncnts of Science liis exertions 
were pursued through lialfa century; and liis memoirs and works 180. 

If. I'liii.ssMTz, the founder of the oold-water oure, a< Grafenberg, si ti>- 

fifty-two. His complaint appears to hare been dropsy af the chest. Ho 
look a little orthodox medii ne, at the instance of his friends: but absolutely 
refused to see a physician, and, so far, died in the faith. — Literary 
Gazette. 



GENERAL INDEX. 



Aboriginal Tribes of India, 195. 

Acalephse, Structure of, 210. 

Agricultural Chemistry and Liebig's 
Mineral Theory, 177. 

Air-bubbles formed in "Water, 122. 

Air, Chemical Composition of the, 154. 

Air Engine, by Joule, 83. 

Air, Moisture in, to determine, 100. 

Alps, Bavarian, the, 235. 

Air and Water of Towns, Sulphuric 
Acid in, 174. 

" Amazon" Steam-ship, the, 16. 

" America" Yacht, the, 15. 

Ammonia in Hailstones, 156. 

Ammonia, Oxidation of in the Human 
Body, 160. 

Astronomical Observations by Electro- 
magnetism, 98. 

Apteryx, living Specimen of, 205. 

Argand Lamps andKeflectors for Light- 
houses, 43. 

Asci converted into Spores, 217. 

Asia Minor, Geology of, 234. 

Astronomical Instruments, Pivots for, 
59. 

Atmospheric Magnetism, Faraday on, 
108-130. 

Atomic Volumes and Weights, Prof. 
Dumas on, 149. 

Australia, Coal in, 245. 

Australia, Gold in, 266 to 271. 

Australian Alps, Gold in the, 271. 

Azores and St. Helena Molluscs, 208. 

Bain's Electric Telegraph, 144. 

Bain and Shepherd's Electro-magnetic 
Clocks, 139. 

Balloting-machine, Patent, 27. 

Balmoral Iron Ball-room, 70. 

Bamboo, economy of the, 223. 

Bank, Fire-proof, at San Francisco, 45. 

Barometer, Eise and Fall of, 100. 

Bath Bricks, Manufacture of, 67. 

Bathurst Gold Diggings, 268, 271. 

Beauty, Geometrical Principles of, 105. 

Beetroot Sugar, Manufacture of, 179. 

Birmingham Steel Pens Manufacture, 
85. 

Black Earth of Central Eussia, 246. 

Bohemia, Trilobites of, 257. 

Boilers, Incrustations in, 68. 

Boring Mollusca, 112. 

Brickmaking in India, by Ransome's 
Machines, 67. 

Bricks, American, 66. 

Bridge-building, New Invention in, 40. 

British Museum, Completion of the, 13. 

Butter, Improved Preparation of, 182. 

Cable, Wire for the Submarine Electric 
Telegraph, 53. 

Calico Dye, New, 166. 



California, Gold in, 271. 

California, Magnesia in, 246. 

California, Platinum in, 246. 

California Soap-plant, 223. 

Californian Gold Plate, Service of, 57. 

Camphor, Artificial, to distinguish from 
Natural, 166. 

Camphor, Species of, 165. 

Caoutchouc, and its Applications, by 
Brockedon, 75. 

Carmine Spar, 165. 

Cask -making Machinery, Eosenborg's, 
20. 

Castings, Metal, Cleansing of, 56. 

Centrifugal Apparatus, Botch's, 27. 

Chain -making, Sisco's improved, 54. 

Claussen's new Flax process, 10. 

Clinometer Prismatic, 22. 

Clocks and Chronometers, Prof. Cow- 
per, on, 31. 

Coal-whipping by Steam, 29. 

Coal-tar Oil for preserving Meat and 
Vegetables, 168. 

Coffee, Adulteration of, 182. 

Colour, Systematization of, 112. 

Colours of Thick Plates, 114. 

Coloured Fringes, New, 114. 

Colt's Eevolvers, 58. 

Composition, New, 78. 

Conformation, Physical, and Climato- 
logy, 104. 

Continents, Outlines not fixed, 233. 

Copper, pure Mines of, 247. 

Coralline's, Composition of, 164. 

Crag and London Clay, the, 240. 

Cretinism in England, 215. 

Crustacea, their Exuviations, 213. 

Cryptogamise, Higher Eeproduction 
of, 230. 

Cylinder, rolling Motion of, and Rail- 
way Wheels, 81. 

C}Tnophane, Crystallization of, 111. 

Daguerreotypes of the Moon, 115. 

Daguerreotype, see Photography. 

Deep Sea Soundings, on, 129. 

" Demerara " Steam-ship, the, 16. 

Devon and Cornwall Slate Rocks, 237. 

Dew-drop, Prismatic Colour of the,l 13. 

Diamagnetism and Magneto-Crystallie 
Action, 107. 

Diamond, the Koh-i-Noor, Slab, 163. 

Dibenzoylamide from Bitter Almonds, 
161. 

Disc Engine, Bishopp's, 21. 

Diving-bell, Cave's improved, 18. 

Dumas on Atomic Volumes and Atomic 
Weights, 149. 

Dye, New, for Calico, 166. 

Earth, Model of the, by Wyld, 96. 

Earth's Motion Experiment: Airy, 94; 



285 



Bachhoffner, 90; Baudrimont and 
Bravais, 93; Binet, 91; Chasles, 92 ; 
Chevallier, 95 ; Cooke, 90; Foucault, 
86; Guyot, 89; Haughton and Gal- 
braith, 90; Little, 94; Powell, 88; 
Smyth, 93; Tvndall, 95; Wartmann, 
95; Wheatstone, 91, 93; Young, 92. 

Earthquake at Naples, 252. 

Earthquake at Valparaiso, 253. 

Earthquakes, Facts of, 251. 

East India Company's Museum, addi- 
tions to, 198. 

Echinodermata of the Crag, 242. 

Eclipse, Total of the Sun; Comrie, 
Perthshire, 278; Course across 
Europe, 271 ; observed at Home, 276 . 
in Sweden, by Mr. Hind, 272 ; Therl 
mometric Readings during, 278. 

Electric Light, Staite's, 137. 

Electric Telegraph, by Bain, 144. 

Electric Telegraph, first idea of, 147. 

Electric Telegraph Wires, Protection 
of, 142. 

Electro-Telegraphic Instruments, Lit- 
tle's improved:, 143. 

Electric Telegraph, Submarine, be- 
tween England and France, 53, 145. 

Electrical Factory, at Glasgow, 136. 

Electricity, Conduction of through 
"Water, 134. 

Electricity, Current, Dynamic Equiva- 
lent of, 133. 

Electricity, Faraday's Experimental 
Researches in, 130. 

Electricity of Flame, 132. 

Electro-magnetic Astronomical Appa- 
ratus, 98. 

Electro-magnetic Clocks, 138. 

Electro-magnetic Engine, French, 142. 

Electro-metallurgy, Moulds for, 136. 

Electro-metallurgy, Progress of, 148. 

Electro-motive Engine, Page's New, 
140. 

Emerald Mine in Egypt, 247. 

Krratics of Canada, on the, 233. 

Erskine, Capt. his account of Gold in 
Australia, 266-271. 

Ether and some Essential Oils, pro- 
perties of, 160. 

Faraday, on Atmospheric Magnetism, 
108-111. 

Faraday's Experimental Researches in 
Electricity, 130. 

Feet of Birds, Impressions of in Sand, 
217. 

Feline Hybrids, 199. 

Filter, Patent Pressure, 21. 

Fire-mine in Clackmannanshire ex- 
tinguished, 6. 

Fir"- Varnish, Spanish, 65. 

Fishes, Nest-building, 207. 

Flame, Electricity of, 132. 

Flax Manufacture, new processes in, 
10. 



Flying Ship, American, 18. 

Forests, Tropical, in British India, De- 
struction of, 243. 

Fossil Annelide, large, 262. 

Fossil Fern from Cape Breton, 262. 

Fossil Reptile, the oldest, described by 
Owen and Mantell, 264 

Fossils, New: Antler of Rein-deer, 
260; Cape frontier, 261; Devonian 
Rocks in North Africa, 259; Ele- 
phant at Bacton, 259; Hardwell, 
Hants, 258 ; London Clay of Sheppy, 
259; Maclurea, 259; Mastodon in 
New Jersey, 261; Potsdam Sand- 
stone, 259; Pterodactyles of the 
Chalk, 259; Silurians of Canada, 
259. 

Foundations Natural and Artificial, 40. 

Funnels of Steam-ships, Effect of on 
their Compasses, 135. 

Galvanic New Motive Power and 
Steamers, 139. 

Gas, Natural, on Chat Moss, 170. 

Gas, Paine's Water, 170. 

Gas, Shepard's Water, 172. 

Gases in Coke-making from Coal, Com- 
position of, 169. 

Gases, Plants grown in, 127. 

Gas-stove, Illuminating, 50. 

Gelatine Casts, 77. 

Geologists, a Nut for, 247. 

Geometrical Curves and Curved Conic 
Sections, 106. 

Geometrical Principles of Beauty, 106. 

Geysers of Iceland, cause of, 256. 

Glacial Period, Scotland, by the Duke 
of Argyle, Mr. Hopkins, Dr. Mar- 
tins, and SirR. I. Murchison, 236, 237. 

Glaciers of the Alps, Prof. Forbes 
on, 265. 

Glass Pipes, by Swinburne, 68. 

Gold from South Australia, Analysis 
of, 164. 

Gold Plate, Californian, 57. 

Gould's Collection of Humming birds, 
201. 

Gravity, Relation of to Electricity, 130. 

Great Exhibition Building, the 12, 69. 

Great Exhibition Lectures, 12. 

Greenwich New Meridian Instrument, 
280. 

Greenwich Observatory and the Electric 
Telegraph, 147. 

Gun, American self-priming, 58. 

Gun-cotton, Spontaneous Decomposi- 
tion of 168. 

Gunpowder, New Mode of Discharging, 

Gutta Percha Moulds for Electro- 
metallurgy, 148. 
Gutta Percha, new application of, 12. 
GuttaPercha, .Stereotypes, 73. 
Gatia Percha in Warfare, 72, 73. 
Gutta Percha Water-pipe, 74. 



286 



INDEX. 



Hammer superseded in Blooming Iron, 
51. 

Heat of Chemical Combinations, 168. 

Hebrides, Marine Animals of, 208. 

Helkxtgnpht, Screw and Sliding, 23. 

Himalaya Mountains, Geology of, 234. 

Himalaya Mountains and Tibet, Botany 
of, 881 . 

ITunnning-birds, Economy of, 202. 

Hydrocyanic Acid, to determine, in 
Bitter Almond Water, by Liebig, 161. 

Hydro-pneumatic Wheel, New, 28. 

Hygrometio Moisture in the Air, to 
determine, 100. 

Hypotheses, Transformation of in the 
History of Science, 105. 

India-rubber Gas-holders, 74. 

Ink, Indestructible, to make, 165. 

Insects, Arctic, 214. 

Insects, South American, 214. 

Institution of Civil Engineers and the 
Great Exhibition Building, 12. 

Iodides, New Test for, 158. 

Iodine in Aluminous Slates, 157. 

Iodine in the Atmosphere, Eain, Dew, 
and Snow, 158. 

Iodine, general Distribution of, 156. 

Iodine in Plants, 158. 

Iris, the Human, 195. 

Iron Ball-room for Balmoral, 70. 

Iron Pavement, 53. 

Iron, Stirling's Patent Improvements 
in, 50. 

Iron Vessels, construction of, 34. 

Knowsley Menagerie, sale of the, 218. 

Latches and Locks, History and Con- 
struction of, 83. 

Leather, Artificial, 77. 

Liebig's Mineral Theory and Agri- 
culture, 177. 

Life-boats, by Brown and Richardson, 
17. 

Light, Chemical Action of, 152. 

Light, Heat, Electricity, and Magnet- 
ism, identical, 111. 

Light for Lighthouses, New, 45. 

Light, Nasmyth's New Theory of, 152. 

Light, Sources of, for Lighthouses, 
42-44. 

Lighthouse, the Horsburg, 41. 

Lighthouses, Prof. Cowper on, 41. 

Liquids, Aerated, 64. 

Lock, New American, Newall's, 63. 

Locks and Latches, Chubb on, 83. 

Locomotive Engine, Steam and Gas, 82. 

Magnesia Mountain in California, 246. 

Magnet, Powerful, 111. 

Magnetism, Atmospheric, Faraday on, 
108. 

Magnetism, Laws of, 107. 

Magneto-Electric and Electro-Mag- 
netic Apparatus, by Millward, 139. 

Mammalian Remains from the Suffolk 
Red Crag, 242. 



Man, New, 194. 

Mangle, Archimedean, 28. 

Mangold-wurzel Beverages, 64. 

Manometer, New Metallic, 27. 

Manure for the Culture of Trees, 179. 

Marine Glue, Substitute for, 76. 

Measuring Machines, New, 21. 

Megatherium, Prof. Owen on the, 265. 

Melbourne, Port Phillip, Gold found 
at, 267. 

Metal, New, discovered, 164, 2 46. 

Metals. Bright Reduction of, in Electro- 
metallurgy, 148. 

Metamorphosis and Metagenesis, Prof. 
Owen on, 218 

Meteorological Society, the, 280. 

Meteorological Summary of 1851, 281. 

Microscopic Arrangements, New, 117. 

Mill, Bovill's Patent, for Grinding 
Corn, 30. 

Mines, Government School of, 233. 

Moho, or Notornis ManteUi, the, 204. 

Mollusca, Boring operations of, 212. 

Mont Blanc, recent Ascent of, 104. 

Moon, the, Daguerreotyped, 115. 

Moon and the Wind, 99. 

Moon, its Influence on the Weather, 
100. 

Mooring Ships in Revolving Gales, 102. 

Mountain Formation, Chemical Theory 
of, 160. 

Mull Island, Volcanic and Tertiary 
Strata of, 255. 

Museum of Practical Geology, opening 
of, 232. 

Mushrooms, Poisoning by, 224. 

Nail and Hair of Man, Increase in, 196. 

Nasmyth's New Theory of Light, 152. 

New South Wales, Gold found in, 266. 

New Zealand, rare Birds of, 204, 205. 

Nicotine, Prof. Orfila on, 174. 

Nitro-Glycerine,itsDecomposition,167. 

Obituary List of 1851, 283. 

Omnibus, Franklinsky's new Patent, 66. 

Orfila, Prof., on Nicotine, 174. 

Organic Centres, Specific, Doctrine of, 
193. 

Ornithorhyncus, the, 207. 

Oxygen, to obtain from Atmospheric 
Air, 155. 

Ozone, Prof. Schonbein on, 169. 

Paddle-wheels, Scott Russell's im- 
proved, 36. 

Page's New Electro-motive Engine,140. 

Paine's Water Gas, 170. 

Panopticon of Science and Art, 13. 

Paper, Protective, patent, 176. 

Paper-staining Machine, 79. 

Papier-mache - , improved, 78. 

Parasitic Life, on, 125. 

Parlour Fire, Ventilation by, 46. 

Pavement, Iron, 63. 

Peat and its Products, Prof. Brande, 
on, 47. 



Perturbations of Uranus, 282. 

Phenakisticope and Stereoscope com- 
bined, 119. 

Phosphorescence of Bodies, 120. 

Phosphorescence of Chalk Streaks, 121. 

Phosphorus Matches, Manufacture of, 
169. 

Phosphorus, Preparation of, 162. 

Photography, Progress of: Albumen, 
191; Albumenized Glass Plates, 183: 
Collodion process, 183; Enamelled 
Daguerreotypes, 185; Gelatine Plates, 
184; Glass Negatives, 187; Glass, 
new Process, 186; Glazing the Posi- 
tive Proofs, 185; Hiliotypes, 188; 
Improved Paper, 185 ; Instanta- 
neous Images, 188; Measurement of 
Light, 191; New Process, 191; Pho- 
tographic Club, 192; Photographs in 
Natural Colours, 187; Positive Pa- 
pers, 192 ; Protection from Mercurial 
Vapours, 191; Whitened Camera, 
184. 

Pivots of Astronomical Instruments,59. 

Planet Neptune, the, 282. 

Planet, New (Irene), 279. 

Planets, growth of in various Gases, 
127. 

Polarization by Caoutchouc and Gutta 
Percha, 116. 

Polarization of Light reflected by 
Glass, 117. 

Porcelain Gilding, 79. 

Potato Disease in Australia, 230. 

Pressure, Effects of on Freezing Water, 
250. 

Printing on Metal, 56. 

Printing-press, Galvanic, 24. 

Proportional Instrument, by Matthias, 
23. 

Propulsion, Gordon's New System of, 5. 

Pterodactyle, New, 215. 

Putrefactive Bodies, New mode of Pre- 
serving, 108. 

Railway Bridge and Viaduct over the 
Wye, 39. 

Eailway Engine Wheels, Moseleyon, 81. 

Railway Signals, Addison's, 37. 

Rain-drops, Impressions of, 261. 

Raising Materials, 14. 

Reid's Law of Storms illustrated, 102. 

Reptilian Footprint! in the Lowest Si- 
lurian.^, 2<>2. 

Revolvers, by Colt, 58. 

Rifle, the Tennessee Rep< 

Roads and Pavements, Patented Com- 
bination of, 65. 

Roman Roads ami British Railways, 87< 

Roofing, Now. bj Oowper, 71. 

Rosse, Lord, his Specula of Sil 

Rudder, Duplex, and Screw Propeller, 
Carpenter's, :S(i. 

Safety-Talve, Nssmyta'i Improved, 20. 

Sap in Plants, Descent of, 



:x. 287 

Saturn's Dark Ring, 279. 

Saw-mills, Improvement in, 55. 

Sea-Sickness, New Preventive of, 197. 

Seeds, Vitality of, 229. 

Shark, Great of the Red Crag, 207. 

Shetland Islands, Natural History of, 
198. 

Sleepers, Rails, and Machinery, Im- 
provements in, 38. 

Smalts and Ultramarine, preparation 
of, 81. 

Smoke Conduction and Ventilation, 11. 

Snail Telegraph, the, 128. 

Solar Beams, Action of, upon Glass, 
117. 
! Solar Eclipse, see Eclipse of the Sun. 
i Solar Heat and Light, 122. 
' Sound, the Problem of: Challis, 125 ; 
Haughton, 125; Herschel and Dal- 
ton, 123; Newton, 123; Potter, 123, 
125; Rankine, 124, 125; Stokes, 
124, 125. 

Spark, Secondary, Property and Size 
of, 133. 

Specula of Silver, by Lord Rosse, 61. 

Spheroidal Bodies, Boutigny on, 151. 

Spiral Instruments, 23. 

Sponge-like Animal, New, 212. 

Stars, Fixed, Eccentric Movement of, 
by Humboldt, 97 . 

Steam-carriages on Common Roads, 
13. 

Steam-engines, Horse-power of, 19. 

Steam and Gas Locomotive, 82. 

Steam-ships, new, for the West India 
Mail-packet Company, 15. 

Steel Manufacture, Ommauey's Patent, 
56. 

Steel Pens, Manufacture of, 85. 

Stereoscope, the, 118. 
■ or Cottages, 49. 

Stove, Illuminating Gas, 50. 

Stove, Bigby's Pocket, 49. 

Btutohbury, Mr., his Report on the 
Bathurst Gold District, 269. 

Sulimai ine Electric Telegraph, 145. 
j Submarine Steam Navigation, by Pay- 
erne, 17. 
i Sugar from Beetroot, as made in Bel- 
gium, 179. 

Sulphur, on the Detection of, 167. 
; Sulphuric Acid in the Air and Water of 
Towns, 174. 

Sydney, receipt of Gold at, 269. 
Tapir, Malayan, specimen of, 200. 

Teas of Commerce, Warrington on, 181. 

Tea Culture in the Himalaya Moun- 
tains, 22'i. 

Temperatures and Pressures, Instru- 
ments lor measuring, 25. 

Textile Fabrics, Wearing and Printing, 

Theatre, singular, in Paris, 28. 
; Thermo-Electricity, on, 132. 



288 



INDEX. 



Thunder of Waterfalls, 122. 

Tidal Streams of the English Channel 

and German Ocean, 101. 
Tooth Manufactory, Artificial, 80. 
Trilobites of Bohemia, 257. 
Tubular Cavities in the Coralline Crag, 

241. 
Turon, S. Australia, Gold found in, 270. 
Ultramarine, Artificial, 81. 
United States' Marine Flora, 229. 
Upas-tree, living, 221. 
Uran-utan, fine, 199. 
Vegetable Physiology, Cloes and Grati- 

olet on, 126. 
Ventilation by the Parlour Fire, 46. 
Vertebrate Air-breathing Life in the 

Old Eed Sandstone, 263. 
Victoria Eegia Lily, the, 224. 
Vine Malady in France, 229. 
Volcano of Mount Pelee, in Martinique, 

Eruption of,- 254. 
Volvox Globator, the, 211. 



Water in Wells, Alteration in, 173. 
Water-meter, Parkinson's, 22. 
Water-pipes in Frost Time, 57. 
Waterspouts and Hurricane in Sicily, 

280. 
Wave System of Naval Construction, 

Progress of, 33. 
Waves, Action of, 101. 
Wax Modelling, Danger of, 76. 
Weaving and Printing Textiles, 32. 
Well-water, Alterations in, 173. 
Westmoreland and Yorkshire, Geology 

of, 239. 
Wheat threshed standing in the Field, 

69. 
Wind and Moon, the, 99. 
Wood, Formation of, 222. 
Wyld's Great Model of the Earth, 96. 
Zoological Classification, Agassiz on, 

193. 
Zoological Society, Keport of, 220. 



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(Eomtr Natural Jetstones, 

By Albert Smith, A. B. Reach, Horace Mayhew, &c. &c. 

Profusely Illustrated by the best Comic Artists of the day. 

Price One Shilling each. 



ALBERT SMITH. 
The Gent. Idler upon Town. 

The Ballet Girl. The Flirt. 

Stuck-up People. Evening Parties. 

A. B. REACH. 

Bores. Humbugs. 

Romance of a Mince Pie. 

HORACE MAYHEW. 

Model Men. Model Women. 

Chang3 for a Shilling. 

Also, in same style, 

Hearts are Trumps. By James Hannay. 

Natural History of Tuft-hunters and Toadies. 

M ,, the Hawk Tribe (Swindlers, Blacklegs, &c.) 

,, „ a Bal Masque. By the Count Chicard. 

The Pocket Peerage and Baronetage of Great 

Britain and Ireland. By Henry R. Forster, of " The Morning Post." 
Neatly bound, 5s. 

Webster's English Dictionary, unabridged ; 

containing all the Words in the English Language, with their Etymologies 
and Derivations. By Noah Webster, LL.D. Revised by Professor 
Goodrich. With Pronouncing Vocabularies of Scripture, Classical, 
and Geographical Names. New Edition, carefully printed in a large 4to. 
volume, 31s. 6d. cloth ; 42s. calf. 

The Fourth Estate. 

A History of Newspapers and the Liberty of the Press. By F. K. Hunt. 
Two vols, post 8vo. 2ls. cloth. 

The Religion of Geology, 

and its Connected Sciences. By Edward Hitchcock, D.D., of Am- 
herst College. Crown 8vo. 7s. cloth. 

Winterslow : Essays and Characters. 

By William Hazlitt ; edited by his Son. Fcp. 8vo. 5s. 

Sketches of Canadian Life, 

Lay and Ecclesiastical, illustrative of Canada and the Canadian Church. 

By a Piiibttii of th.- Diocksb of Toronto, P 

IiONDON.] 



12 DAVID BOGUE'S ANNUAL CATALOGUE. 



Miscellaneous Books — continued. 

Longfellow's Poems, Complete. 

The Poetical Works of H. W. Longfellow. Complete Edition,with addi- 
tional Poems, fcp. 8vo. cloth, 6s. ; morocco, 10s. 6d. ; antique, 12s. 

Longfellow's Prose Works. 

Uniform with the above. Fcp. 8vo. cloth, 6s. ; morocco, 10s. 6d. ; an- 
tique, 12s. 

Narrative of Events in Vienna, 

from Latour to Windisgr'atz. By Berthold Auerbach. Translated 
by J. E. Taylor. With an Introduction and Appendix. Fcp. 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

The Happy Home : 

a Series of Papers affectionately ascribed to the Working People. By 
the Author of " Life in Earnest." Sewed, Is. ; cloth gilt, Is. 6d. 

The Fountain of Living Waters : 

2s. cloth gilt. 

The Angel's Song. 

By the Rev. C. B. Tayler, M.A. With Illustrations by Harvey. Fcp. 
bds. 5s. 

Prench Domestic Cookery, 

combining Elegance with Economy ; in 1200 Receipts. With numerous 
Engravings. Fcp. 8vo. 4s. cloth. 

The Stowe Catalogue 

Priced and Annotated, by Henry Rumsey Forster, of the "Morning 
Post" newspaper. With numerous Illustrations of the principal Objects. 
4to. half-morocco, 15s. 

Emma de Lissau ; 

or, Memoirs of a Converted Jewess. With Illustrations by Gilbert. 
New Edition, 7s. cloth; 10s. 6d. morocco. 

Miriam and Rosette ; 

or, The Twin Sisters : a Jewish Narrative of the XVIIIth Century. By 
the Author of " Emma de Lissau." Illustrated by Gilbert. 3s. 6d. cloth. 

Rev. Thomas Dale's Poetical Works. 

Including The Widow of Nain, The Daughter of Jairus, &c. New and 
Enlarged Edition, fcp. 8vo. 7s. cloth ; 10s. 6d. morocco. 

Windsor in the Olden Time : 

its Historical and Romantic Annals, from the earliest Records. By 
John Stoughton. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Margaret Davidson's Remains. 

Life and Poetical Remains of Margaret Davidson. By Washing- 
ton Irving, Author of" The Sketch-Book. " Fcp. 8vo. Frontispiece, 5s. cl. 

" Beyond all question one of the most singular and interesting pieces of literary history ever 
pe nned. ' '— B ritann i a. 

Lucretia Davidson's Remains. 

Memoirs and Poetical Remains of Lucretia Davidson. By Miss 
Sedgwick. Uniform with the above. 5s. cloth. 



[86, Fleet Street, 



DAVID BOGTJE S ANNUAL CATALOGUE. 13 



Miscellaneous Books — continued. 

TheWhaleman'sAdventures in theSouthernOcean. 

Edited by the Rev. W. Scoresby, D.D. Fcp. 8vo. cloth, 6s. 

The Maid of Honour ■ 

or, Massacre of St. Bartholomew : an Historical Tale of the Sixteenth 
Century. With Illustrations by Absolon. Fcp. 8vo. 7s. 

Madame Guizot's Young Student ; 

or, Ralph and Victor: a Tale for Youth, by Madame Guizot. Trans- 
lated by Samuel Jacksox. With Engravings. New Edition, fcp. 8vo. 
6s. cloth. 

The London Anecdotes for all Readers, 

on the Plan of the Percy Anecdotes. 2 vols. 6s. cloth. 

The Marriage Looking- Glass : 

a Manual for the Married, and a Beacon to the Single. By the Rev. T. S. 
Boone, of St. Peter's College, Cambridge. Fcp. 8vo. 6s. 

The Singing-Book. 

The art of Singing at Sight taught by Progressive Exercises. By James 
Turle, Organist of Westminster Abbey ; and Edward Tayjlor, 
Gresham Professor of Music. 4s. 6d. cloth. 

Books on Knitting, Netting, and Crochet. 

By Mrs. Mee :— 
Manual of Knitting, Netting, and Crochet. 7th Edition, 5s. 6d. 
Knitting and Crochet Companion. 6d. 
Exercises in Knitting and Netting. 6th Edition, Is. 6d. 
Crochet Doilies and Edgings. 7th Edition, Is. 6d. 
Crochet Explained and Illustrated. 2d Series, 5s. 6d. 
Crochet Collars. 10th Edition, 6d. 
Crochet Couvrettes and Collars. 5th Edition, Is. • 
Polka Jackets. 6d. 
Lace Edgings. 6d. 

Ewbank's Hydraulics. 

Historical and Descriptive Account of Machines for Raising Water, 
ancient and modern, including the progressive development of the 
Steam Engine. By Thomas Ewbank. Illustrated by 300 Engravings. 
Large 8vo. 18s. cloth. 

Egeria ; or, the Spirit of Nature. 

By Charles Mackay, LL.D. Fcp. 8vo. 5s. cloth. 

Town Lyrics. 

By Charles Mackay. Crown 8vo. sewed, Is. 

The Book of the Months, 

and CIRCLE of the Embellished with Twenty-eight 

Engravings from Drawing! by William Harvey. Beautifully printed 
in fcp. 8vo. 5s. cloth ; 8s. 6d. morocco. 

Miniature French Dictionary, 

in French and BngUab, and BngUab and French: comprising all the 
words in general dm. I he remarkably comprehensive nature and com- 
pact size of this little dictionary admirably lit it for the student and 
tourist. Neatly bound in roan, 4s. morocco, gilt edges, 5s. 0d. 

London.] 



14 davtd bogue's annual catalogue. 



Miscellaneous Books — continued. 

Sharpens Diamond Dictionary 

of the ENGLISH LANGUAGE. A very small volume, beautifully 
printed in a clear and legible type. Roan neat, 2s. 6d. ; morocco, 3s. 6d. 

May You Like It : 

a Series of Tales and Sketches. By the Rev. Charles B. Tayler, 
Author of "Records of a Good Man's Life." Fcp. 8vo. 7s. 6d. cloth; 
10s. 6d. morocco. 

Self Sacrifice ; 

or, the Chancellor's Chaplain. By the Author of " The Closing Scene," 
" The Bishop's Daughter." &c. Fcp. 8vo. 7s. 

Panorama of Jerusalem 

and the surrounding Scenery, from a Drawing by the Librarian of the Ar- 
menian Convent : with Historical and Descriptive Notices from the works 
of Robinson, Keith, Rae Wilson, Buckingham, &c. In cloth case, 2s. 6d. 

Recollections of the Lakes ; 

and OTHER POEMS. By the Author of " Moral of Flowers," " Spirit 
of the Woods," &c. Fcp. 8vo. with Frontispiece, 7s. cloth ; 10s. 6d. mor. 

Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art ; 

exhibiting the most important Discoveries and Improvements of the 
Year, and a Literary and Scientific Obituary. By the Editor of " The 
Arcana of Science." Illustrated with Engravings, fcp. 8vo. 5s. cloth. 
*** This work is published annually, and contains a complete and con- 
densed view of the progress of discovery during the year, systematically ar- 
ranged, with engravings illustrative of novelties in the arts and sciences, &c. 
The volumes, from its commencement in 1839, may still be had, 5s. each. 

"Ably and honestly compiled." — Athenaeum. 

Life's Lessons : 

a Domestic Tale. By the Author of " Tales that Might be True." New 
Edition, wth Frontispiece, fcp. 8vo. 4s , cloth. 

Williams's Symbolical Euclid, 

chiefly from the Text of Dr. Simson. Adapted to the Use of Students by 
the Rev. J. M. Williams, of Queen's College, Cambridge. New Edition, 
6s. 6d. cloth ; 7s. roan.— An 8vo. Edition may also be had, 7s. cloth. 
%%% This edition is in use at many of the Public Schools. 

King's Interest Tables, 

on Sums from One to Ten Thousand Pounds. Enlarged and improved, 
with several useful Additions. By Joseph King, of Liverpool. In 
1 large vol. 8vo. 21s. 

Seven Hundred Domestic Hints, 

combining Elegance and Economy with the Enjoyment of Home. By a 
Lady. Neatly bound in cloth, 2s. 6d. 

Floral Fancies j 

or, Morals from Flowers. With Seventy Illustrations. Fcp. 8vo. 7s. cloth. 



[86, Fleet Street, 



DAVID BOGUES ANNUAL CATALOGUE. 15 



Miscellaneous Books — continued. 



The G